The Israeli Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon, decided this year to sponsor a health campaign for 10,000 children at the Gado Refugee Camp instead of hosting an Israeli Independence Day reception.
Following an appeal from the United Nations, the Israeli Embassy in Yaounde, in collaboration with the Cameroon Pediatrician Association, conducted a five-day health program from June 8-12, 2014 at the Gado Refugee Camp, during which 5,000 Central African Republic refugee children were vaccinated against polio and 5,000 others against measles. Free medical consultation and medicines were also provided to children under the age of 15 by a team of four pediatricians.
The camp holds 19,000 people fleeing the violence in the neighboring Central African Republic, most of them Muslims. A total of 12,000 are children under 15, many of them suffering from malnutrition that facilitates infection by other diseases.
Speaking after the campaign, Ambassador Nadav Cohen promised to explore the possibility of obtaining funds from other sources to assist the refugees. He also expressed hope that other diplomatic missions and Cameroonian pediatricians will take a cue in offering assistance and volunteering their services to the refugees. He commended UN agencies for assisting with the outreach. Ambassador Cohen said: "The Israeli program was well received by the local Cameroon health system as well as by the international aid agencies with which we worked. It showed the people that they can help themselves, and need not rely solely on international aid."