In Search of Entrepreneurs, Children and HIV/AIDS in Cameroon: A Marginalized Issue?

Larissa Kojoué - Children and Young People Living with HIV/AIDS, Part of the series Cross-Cultural Research in Health, Illness and Well-Being


Since the early 2000s, the government of Cameroon has implemented three major initiatives directed at orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) due to HIV/AIDS. These are children whose survival, well-being and development are being compromized by HIV and AIDS. The initiatives are namely; the bi multi-OVC program (2004–2008), the National Support Program for OVC (NSP-OVC 2006–2010), and the Children, HIV and AIDS program (2008–2012). Behind each of these initiatives stands a foreign and institutional operator (UNICEF, the French Cooperation, and the Global Fund). The implementation of these programs has been complex and quite far from the intended goals. Based on an in-depth analysis of Cameroonian policies for care and support to OVC, this chapter will show that despite the inclusion of this issue as a strategic priority in fighting against AIDS, Cameroonian authorities are non-significant managers. They much more accompany policies, instead of directing or driving. Public policies for OVC are therefore the result of international propositions rather than the consequences of formal and structured requests. They reflect the weakness and the deficiency of social movements against AIDS in Cameroon. They also expose the contradictions of global policies to fight against HIV/AIDS, which tend to neglect and conceal the social, economic, sanitary and family dynamics that affect children daily.