Cochrane Cameroon: bringing Cochrane to francophone sub-Saharan Africa
Lawrence Mbuagbaw1,2,3,&, Guy Sadeu Wafeu1, Tamara Kredo4,5, Solange Durao4, Joy Oliver1, Charles Shey Wiysonge4, Pierre Ongolo Zogo1
1Centre for the Development of Best Practices in Health, Central Hospital, Yaoundé, Cameroon, 2Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, 3Biostatistics Unit, Father Sean O´Sullivan Research Centre, St Joseph´s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 4Cochrane South Africa, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa, 5Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Lawrence Mbuagbaw, Centre for the Development of Best Practices in Health, Central Hospital, Yaoundé, Cameroon
To the editors of the Pan African Medical Journal
June 30th 2021 marks the launching of Cochrane Cameroon in Yaoundé,
Cameroon. Cochrane Cameroon is the fourth geographical group of Cochrane in
sub-Saharan Africa, following Cochrane South Africa (1997), Cochrane Nigeria
(2006) and Cochrane Kenya (2021). All are part of the Cochrane Africa Network,
formally established in 2017. Cochrane Cameroon is based in the Centre for
Development of Best Practices in Health, at the Yaoundé Central Hospital
in Cameroon, and is the base of the Francophone hub of Cochrane Africa .
The Francophone hub includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali and Senegal.
Cochrane is a not-for-profit international network aiming to have evidence at
the heart of health decision-making world-wide. Cochrane does not accept commercial
or conflicted funding which is vital for generating authoritative and reliable
information, unconstrained by commercial and financial interests. Cochrane
Cameroon responds to the needs to expand evidence-based decision-making and
Cochrane activities to French speaking Africa  and to
address broader health system deficiencies in sub-Saharan Africa [3, 4].
Cochrane Cameroon will provide leadership for the growing interest in evidence-based
healthcare in Cameroon and the surrounding countries. Current efforts are limited
by a lack of individual and institutional capacity to conduct and use systematic
reviews . Cochrane Cameroon has the unique opportunity
to bridge the gap between the rest of Cochrane and French-speaking sub-Saharan
Africa, as the sole bilingual (English/French) Cochrane geographical group
in the region.
In collaboration with Cochrane Africa, Cochrane Cameroon will continue to support the production of high-quality systematic reviews, make relevant Cochrane evidence accessible (through translation of plain language summaries and evidence assessments), advocating for evidence (by raising awareness and stakeholder engagement) and contributing to the sustainability of the network (by supporting mentors and mentees). In recognition of the need to enhance health equity by involving stakeholders and end-users in priority setting , Cochrane Cameroon will build upon previous capacity-building efforts , and translation initiatives , to ensure that French-speaking people in sub-Saharan Africa are engaged in the evidence generation process.
Conclusion: this letter is an open invitation to researchers, health care providers, journalists, policymakers, and consumers in the region to visit our website and engage meaningfully in the production and use of high-quality locally relevant and accessible health evidence.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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