Dr. Denis Nsame drills some over 40 CMF Group Presidents of Mezam Presbytery of the PCC on the Novel Coronavirus
Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than four million confirmed cases in 187 countries. Nearly 300,000 people have so far lost their lives. The United States alone has more than 1.3 million confirmed cases - about six times as many as any other country.
The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have spread to Cameroon, Central Africa on 6th March with its first confirmed case. The infected person was a French national who arrived Yaoundé on 24th February. As the days passed, it spread to other regions of the country and subsequently hit the Northwest Region on the 23rd of April, 2020. The number of cases in the country and the region has kept increasing and the toll in the region as of the 10th of May, 2020 stood at 20 with 4 deaths.
Owing to the fear of an exponential rise in the number of infected persons in the weeks/months ahead, organizations and groups are keeping themselves updated with information regarding the pandemic. On Tuesday 12th May 2020, some 40 CMF Group Presidents, Zonal Coordinators and Presbytery Officers of the PCC Mezam Presbytery participated in a sensitisation workshop seminar on scaling efforts to fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the CMF family, organized by the National Secretary Men's Work at the Church Centre hall, Ntamulung.
The resource person of the day was the Director of the Regional Hospital Bamenda DR. Nsame Denis, who presented an exposé on the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID- 19). Dr. Nsame touched on the definition, cause and mode of transmission, incubation period, clinical diagnosis and laboratory diagnosis.
A coronavirus is a virus that is found in animals and, rarely, can be transmitted from animals to humans and then spread from human to human. In addition to COVID-19, other human coronaviruses have included:
The MERS virus or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
The SARS virus or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which first occurred in the Guangdong province in southern China.
Symptoms of a COVID-19
COVID-19 symptoms range from mild to severe. It takes 2-14 days after exposure for symptoms to develop. Symptoms may include:
shortness of breath
Those with weakened immune systems may develop more serious symptoms like pneumonia or bronchitis. You may never develop symptoms after being exposed to COVID-19. So far, most confirmed cases are in adults, but some children have been infected. There is no evidence that children are at greater risk of getting the virus.
Causes of a coronavirus infection
Humans first get a coronavirus from contact with animals. Then, it can spread from human to human. Health officials do not know what animal caused COVID-19.
The COVID-19 virus can be spread through contact with certain bodily fluids such as droplets in a cough. It might also be caused by touching something an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
If you believe you have COVID-19, you should contact your family doctor immediately. Before going to the doctor’s office, call with your concerns. This will allow the office to collect information and offer you guidance on next steps. To diagnose you, your doctor may run tests to rule out other common infections. In some cases, your doctor may suggest you self-isolate in order to prevent the spread of the infection.
During a question and answer session, participants had worries on the use of face masks, disinfection of homes of patients who die of COVID-19, contact tracing for the families of those who have died of the disease, among many others. The Director indicated that with the surgical masks, which have the white and green/blue sides, for those with cough, the colored part is outside while the white is inside and vice versa for someone who hasn’t cough. He further said it is advisable to use surgical masks because they are medically approved, but now that these masks are limited in stock, it is advisable to always wash with a disinfecting solution. For patients who die from COVID-19, their family members are contacted and monitored for 21 days to be sure they are free from the virus. Once a patient dies of COVID-19, the burial is done immediately by a medical team and the home of the person disinfected, the Director added.
In his closing remarks, he encouraged all participants to go back to their various groups and appeal to all their members to strictly respect government-recommended barrier measures to fight against the spread of COVID-19:
- Regularly wash your hands with running water and soap for at least 20 seconds, especially after visiting the restroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-base hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
- Respect social distancing (at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others). Avoid crowded places;
- Cover your cough/sneeze with a disposable tissue or cough/sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow;
- Practise staying at home, going out only when it is absolutely necessary, among other measures.