The OCCGEAC , O rganization for C oordination and C ooperation for the fight against the Major Endemics in C entral A frica was created in 1963 in Yaoundé by the will of the Ministers of Health of Cameroon, Congo, Gabon , CAR and Chad. This creation then corresponded to the vast movement of regrouping and cooperation which was taking hold in Africa. The aims of the OCEAC which, until 1965 bore the name of the OCCGEAC, were summarized in the very acronym of the organization:
- Major Endemics
- Central Africa
The actions of OCEAC were oriented towards the fight against tuberculosis, trypanosomiasis, leprosy, treponematosis, schistosomiasis, measles, cerebrospinal meningitis, malaria, onchocerciasis, intestinal parasites, vaccinations, health education, etc. Thus, OCEAC contributed in a substantial way to the disappearance of smallpox, to the reduction of the prevalence in Central Africa of many communicable diseases. From 1965 to 1983, OCEAC was responsible for the following missions on the major endemic epidemics raging in the territory of Central Africa:
- Establish and coordinate any action program aimed at control and eradication;
- Pursue studies, research to carry out the fight against these endemo-epidemics;
- In addition, to achieve this, encourage the interest or support of major national and international organizations.
The statutes revised in 1983 reformulate the missions of the organization as follows:
- Constitute a regional scientific center to develop public health in the Member States;
- Participate in the training of public health personnel from Member States;
- Provide public health expertise to Member States;
- To achieve this, additionally stimulate the interest or support of NGOs and bilateral or multilateral cooperation bodies.
From 1983 to the present day, health problems have taken on other dimensions, diseases have been or are being eradicated; new endemics have appeared, other diseases are re-emerging, thus changing the epidemiological profile of the block.
Approaches to public health problems have evolved. Moreover, population growth, poorly controlled urbanization and the stagnation of health systems resulting from socio-economic conditions require States to seek answers within a broader framework.
Consideration of the above has led OCEAC to restructure itself and to refocus its missions and its action around the mobilizing themes which constitute the most emerging health problems.