Akonolinga - Buruli Ulcer Project Cameroon, 2002 - 2014
The primary objective of the evaluation was to identify the lessons learned throughout the period that the BU Project was in operation in Akonolinga, from its launch in 2002 until its conclusion in late June 2014. To accomplish this, the assessors relied on existing documentation, interviews with persons directly or indirectly involved with the project, and on any observations that they made during their time in the field. The findings presented in the evaluation deal essentially with the study of the project phases, its strategic evolution, its management, the partnerships entered into by MSF, decentralisation, awareness-raising campaigns and advocacy activities. One major chapter is devoted to an analysis and an appreciation of medical activities, with their therapeutic choices, performance, support elements and the research carried out in and around the project. The evaluation also looked at planning for the disengagement phase and on the legacy left by MSF after twelve years of engagement. A total of 1231 patients with ulcers, including 435 confirmed cases of BU, were diagnosed. They received institutional care, based on quality standards and methods which were unknown in Cameroon until now. Numerous research papers, training courses and a multi-disciplinary approach were also part of the care given over the years. A modest advocacy action was carried out. All these activities were developed against a background that highlighted a reduction in the incidence and number of new BU cases detected, not only on the national level, but also on the international level. Also, with time, there was a growing threat to the sustainability of activities after MSF had left.