The Mortality Situation in Cameroun

  • Bangha Martin Wultoff


In this article, we examine the mortality situation in Cameroon in relation to other countries of the sub-continent. Evidence for the overall childhood mortality rate suggests that 13 percent of the newborn babies are expected to die before their fifth birthday, a decline of 6 percent points from the 1978 value. This, compared to other Sub-Saharan African countries, appears to be moderate but is very high by other developing countries' or world's standard. In fact, the decline has not yet reached a reasonable minimum that could suggest noticeable improvement in the health status of the population at both macro and micro levels. The adult mortality situation on the other hand is very high even by Sub-Saharan African standards. About 35 percent of those who survive childhood hazards up to age 15 are not expected to celebrate their 60th anniversary compared to barely 20 percent for some other countries of the sub-continent. Even when compared to the childhood mortality situation, Cameroon is a country with very poor health for adults. It appears that children in Cameroon have benefitted more than adults from the reduction of overall mortality to a "moderate" level. Consequently, as year 2000 approaches it is clear that Cameroon is still far from attaining the goal of "Health for All" and it is becoming very uncertain whether the target will be attained. As the results suggest, not only is there need for greater efforts to improve the survival of children in the country, but in addition, it is also necessary to institute strategies to maintain their health when they survive childhood.