Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

Cameroon: first lady offers christmas gifts to kids

Mrs Chantal Biya presided over the colourful annual Christmas Tree ceremony last Friday at her Foundation in Yaounde.

Ahead of Christmas Day, Cameroon's First Lady, Chantal Biya had a pleasant time with kids at her Foundation; Chantal Biya Foundation as she placed Christmas gifts on the beds of all the sick children and handed out gifts to some pupils, vulnerable children and kids on external medical consultation who were present at the Foundation on that wonderful day, December 21.

From a distance, one could realise that the Chantal Biya Foundation (CBF) was at its best in terms of decor and messages that depicted the reason for celebration. With a new coat of pink and white paint on the institutions building, effigies of "Father Christmas", colourful flowers, dolls and Christmas messages were seen in almost all the corners of the CBF. Onlookers and various dance groups also lined up along the main road leading to the Foundation to join in the celebration or add rhythm to the event. Mrs Biya's arrival at the ceremonial ground, some minutes after 11:00 a.m. kick-started the distribution of Christmas gifts. She began with school pupils at the entrance of the Foundation who had a special welcome song for their Cherie Maman. "Mama oooo yaya to oooo!", the children sang. Joined by other Members of Government, members of the Circle of Friends of Cameroon (CERAC) and several dignitaries, the First Lady later went to the Mother and Child Centre, placed gifts on the beds of sick children at the neo-natal wards. A smiling Chantal Biya with words of encouragement and a warm embrace consoled the parents of the sick children.

Before moving to the Children First Centre where abandoned children are taken care of, the First Lady made a stop at the Pavilion Jeanne Irene Biya were she placed a bouquet of flowers at the statue of the late First Lady. Before leaving the Foundation, Chantal Biya visited a new laboratory at the Pavilion Luc Montagnier which is specialised in rotavirus and adenovirus co-infection as well as some enteric pathogens in children below five years. At the laboratory, Chantal Biya learned that two researches are on-going on bacterial meningitis and rotavirus diahorrea which causes illnesses common to children. These researches will help doctors have an epidemiological data of the disease before and after the introduction of vaccines. With the presence of the lab at the Foundation, medical examinations for sick children have become rapid.

Throughout her tour at the Foundation, Mrs Biya was accompanied by choral musical groups who graced her passage at each point with beautiful songs that expressed gratitude to her humanitarian actions. The same effervescent that heralded her arrival heightened as she left the Foundation to the joy particularly of kids who had just received Christmas gifts from her.

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