Regional Hospital Bamenda receives Dr. Phanuel Habimana, country representative of WHO in an effort to boost the COVID-19 response in the Region
The World Health Organization's Representative in Cameroon, H.E. Dr. Phanuel Habimana, has ended his working visit to the North West Region. Upon his arrival in Bamenda on Tuesday, May 4th 2021, he paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of the North West Region, Adolphe Lele Lafrique, and had a meeting with the Archbishop of the Bamenda Metropolitan Archdiocese, Andrew Nkea. Dr Habimana's purpose for visiting the region was to donate some items worth 32 million francs with support from the World Bank , the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA and the Food and Agriculture Organization, under the umbrella of a project called the Pandemic Emergency Facility Fund. The consignment was made up of a Toyota pick-up truck and 20 computers.
Day two of his visit was dedicated to the Regional Delegation of Public Health, the Regional Hospital and the Regional Fund for Health Promotion. Upon arrival at the Regional Delegation of Public Health, Dr. Habimana was welcomed by the Regional Delegate of Public Health, Dr. Kingsley Che Soh, the Director of the Regional Hospital, Dr. Nsame Denis Nforniwe and the staff of the Delegation. While at the Regional Delegation, the Delegate presented the Region as per health districts and how the health family has been affected within the past four years by the current health crisis. The Regional Delegate presented the epidemiological situation of the region and Dr. Habimana remarked that it was such an impressive work the health family, led by Dr. Che Soh, have been doing.
Visiting the Regional Hospital, the delegation was led by the Director of the Regional Hospital, Dr. Nsame Denis, who ushered them to the COVID-19 Vaccination site situated at the Imaging Centre of the hospital, the Intensive Care Unit which is to be removed by the WHO and a visit to the Isolation Unit under construction. At the COVID-19 Vaccination site, and looking at the vaccination process,
Dr. Habimana advised that the Astrazeneca which expires in a matter of months should be used first for those who have not had any dose yet since SINOPHARM has a life span of 2 years. Amazed as he moved along the corridors of the hospital, he congratulated the hospital administration and staff for the efforts they are making to maintain a high level of cleanliness.
Visiting the COVID-19 Isolation Unit under construction, he expressed some level of satisfaction but appealed that the work be accelerated so that it can serve the purpose for its construction. The contractor promised to complete the said structure in a period of one month.
Speaking during the official ceremony to hand over the equipment, chaired by the Governor of the North West Region Adolphe Lele Lafrique, Dr Habimana mentioned that after this first consignment, another consignment of items shall be handed over to the hospital in the days ahead . This second consignment shall consist of 30 oxygen concentrators,1 trauma kit, a patient multi-parameter monitor, 1 ventilator, other personal protective equipment and some Rapid diagnostic test kits. Dr. Habimana further revealed that these donations are part of a World Bank project that will benefit the North West and South West Regions, considering their present political situation. These are his words: "The Pandemic Facility Fund is a mechanism that the World Bank has worked out to support the two regions of Cameroon to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic because we know that even before the pandemic the two regions have suffered in terms of destruction of health services and other services in different programmes have also suffered as a result of the conflict and humanitarian situation. We are aware that the addition of COVID 19 in a conflict zone would be very difficult so the World Bank, in negotiation with the government of Cameroon, had to work out a mechanism to increase the support provided to these two regions."
In appraisal, Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique thanked the World Health Organization for having the North West Region at heart and equally called on the population to shun fake news, rumours, myths and get vaccinated. "I am appealing to all the stakeholders to mobilize themselves in task forces as we decided during the Regional Committee meeting to fight against the virus. I am also asking everybody in the North West Region, like I have done myself, to go to the various vaccination centres across the Region and get vaccinated to protect themselves against the virus and to protect their community and cut the chain of transmission."
It is worth mentioning that as part of the Pandemic Emergency Facility Fund Project, 95 members of the Rapid Response Team from 20 health districts have been trained. Furthermore, there has been the training of 80 community health workers, 38 data managers, 76 health workers and also the recent training of four medical staff in the management of severe COVID-19 cases.
These donations come at a time when the region is facing the second wave of the virus and has equally started its vaccination campaign against COVID-19 with medical personnel and the aging population with any comorbidity.