Cameroon: North West - Population Advised to Do Screening

An order by the Governor has come to strengthen other measures in the region such as the setting apart of an Isolation Ward at the Bamenda Regional Hospital.

The population has been called upon to submit to screening against COVID-19 in the North West. The call by the region's administration comes after a thermal camera, health personnel and an ambulance were stationed at the west entrance point at Matazem in Santa over the weekend to screen passengers. "North West has had no suspected case of coronavirus disease up till now; but we are prepared to handle any suspected case," Dr. Denis Nsame Nforninwe, Director of the Bamenda Regional Hospital, said. He made the statement after a recent scientific presentation during which workers of the hospital were updated on COVID-19. "We have this briefing in order that each worker knows what is going on in the world, in Cameroon and in the North West Region and to know how prepared we are, what we should do if we have a suspected case and, as well, to share a case definition," he highlighted. The purpose was to enable the over 500 workers of the structure have a good understanding of the pandemic, learn the various precautionary measures while dealing with patients and be educators in their communities where they live, to also help eliminate fears, panic and psychosis. With instructions from hierarchy, an Isolation Ward termed "Solidarity Ward" has been set apart at the Regional Hospital, comprising three rooms and furnished with six beds and a section for doctors and nurses as well as another section for patients with toilets and a store where patients will put their belongings. The ward, he said, is called "Solidarity Ward" because they are in solidarity with any suspected case. If there are severe cases that the structure cannot handle, it will make referrals, according to the doctor. During a regional inter-ministerial meeting to seek practical modalities to stem the spread of the pandemic, the North West Regional Delegate of Public Health said the Solidarity Ward is also equipped with an ambulance and thermal camera. Meanwhile, the Governor of the North West, Adolphe Lele Lafrique, on March 22, 2020, signed an order to control the exercise of liberties and activities within the framework of the response plan against the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). It lays down modalities for the operation of movements and socio-cultural and profit-making activities in the region. Along with the closure of land, air and river borders (borders with neighbouring countries) is the set up of checkpoints at these entry points to the North West manned by health personnel and the forces of Law and Order with a view to screening against the coronavirus and disinfecting passengers. The measures discourage all sports competitions, burials, weddings and funeral ceremonies and overloading by transport vehicles.

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