Cameroon: Inside North West COVID-19 Patient Response

With the confirmation of 11 cases including 1 death, in the North West Region, two hotels in Bamenda have been requisitioned by Governor Adophe LeLe L’Afrique as quarantined centers. Both medical and hotel staff has been trained on how to provide the needed services to the patients during confinement so as to keep them comfortable.

NWR COVID-19 Solidarity Ward

At the Bamenda regional hospital, the COVID-19 solidarity ward has been equipped with six beds and an additional 10 bed capacity modern tent donated by Doctors Without Borders.

To the NW health authorities, the cases are all responding well to treatment. The homes of all these patients have been disinfected by the Rapid Intervention and Investigation Team of the Regional Delegation of Public Health. All conntacts have been traced and conveyed to one of the quarantine sites, for sample collection, testing and confinement.

Questions, have been raised by inhabitants on how the cases from other cities, got into the city undetected despite the screening exercise on going at Matazem, Santa, thereby provoking criticism of the preventive exercise. 

Dr, Denis Nsame, director of the Bamenda regional hospital, says the thermo flash used at the main entry point to the city does not detect a symptoms when the person’s temperature is low.

“The first case is a 42 year old man who took his car and drove to Bamenda after several unsuccessful attempts to get tested in Douala. By the time he was screened at Matazem, he had no fever, but his history in Douala indicated he was sick for two weeks.”

To Dr, Kingsley Che Soh, North West Regional Delegate of Public Health, the delegation is working with the international Red Cross to construct a temporal hospital at Matazem.

“We are doing all we can to identify suspected cases but unfortunately, people have started lying about their medical history. All they want is to get to Bamenda which is bad.” 

New dispositions have been made for the screening point at Matazem for proper execution.

“The screening center will station between the two police check points so you can be screened before you show your ID card. To resolve the issue of overcrowding, travellers will be screened per bus so as to respect social distancing.” Said Dr, Kingsley Che 

According to a communique released by Governor Adophe LeLe L’Afrique on the 1st of May, 2020, one case came in from Yaounde, one from Bafoussam and four were infected by those who already tested positive in the region. The communique also indicates that, the new regional testing center is performing excellently and has tested cases from the West and North West Regions.

NW COVID-19 Testing Center

NW health authorities are reinforcing measures to curb the spread of the virus. Screening teams have been deployed to other entrances into the region and activities, such as the sharing of face masks and hand sanitizers, will be introduced at the screening centers in the days ahead. 

To Dr, Denis Nsame, director of the Bamenda Regional Hospital, visitation hours have been suspended at the Bamenda regional hospital.

“If you have been strolling into the hospital to visit a sick friend, it is not necessary at this time. We don’t want visitors – One patient, one carer. You can talk to them via phone or send them money via MoMo.

“If you feel you have COVID-19 symptoms, call the toll free numbers and a medical team will respond or come to you rather than you taking a taxi or bike to a health facility and back. This will in turn limit movement.” Said Dr Denis Nsame

By Maikem Emmanuela Manzie

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