Trente ans de lutte antituberculeuse au Cameroun: une alternance entre systèmes d'offre de soins de santé "vertical" et "horizontal"

B. Keugoung, A. Buvé, D. Nolna, J. Macq, J. Meli, B. Criel

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


BACKGROUND: In sub-Saharan Africa, tuberculosis remains endemic despite reforms of health systems and the tuberculosis control organization carried out in the last decades. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of tuberculosis control in Cameroon from the period 2009 back to 1980. Data were collected from documents and activity reports of tuberculosis control, and interviews with managers of the National tuberculosis control program. FINDINGS: The history of tuberculosis control in Cameroon from 2009 back to 1980 can be divided into three main periods. The first period, from 1980 to 1994, corresponded to the implementation of the 'primary health care' policy. At that time, tuberculosis case management was delivered free of charge, but centralized in specialized services with a gradual and mild increase in new cases detected. The second period, from 1995 to 2000, was characterized by the implementation of the 'primary health care reorientation' policy that decentralized tuberculosis care to all health facilities, but introduced cost recovery - which came along with a dramatic drop in the number of tuberculosis cases detected. The National tuberculosis control program, established in 1996, entrusted health facilities - especially hospitals - with the responsibility of tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment, and referred to them as tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment centers. During the third period, from 2001 to 2009, owing to major support from global health initiatives, the number of tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment centers was increased (reaching 216 centers in 2009), with a significant increase of new cases detected that peaked in 2006, from where the situation started declining till 2009. CONCLUSION: Tuberculosis control indicators have never been optimal in Cameroon, despite the generally positive trend from 1980 to 2009. The strategy of tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment centers, which are essentially nested within hospitals, seems to have reached its intrinsic limitations. Better performance in tuberculosis control will henceforth require greater decentralization of tuberculosis detection and treatment to health centers. This careful decentralization will improve access for tuberculosis patients and lead to a comprehensive use of hospital technical expertise for tuberculosis care.
Original languageFrench
JournalRevue d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Bacterial diseases
  • Tuberculosis
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • National programs
  • Control programs
  • Vertical health programs
  • Horizontal health programs
  • Health systems
  • History
  • Health centers
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Hospitals
  • Health policy
  • Financing
  • Health expenditures
  • Standards
  • Comparison
  • Cameroon
  • Africa-Central


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