Authorities in the Ocean Division, South Region of Cameroon have been urged to double efforts in order to keep the area free from cholera as well as the COVID-19.
The call was made by the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Public Health, Alim Hayatou on Thursday, October 15 during a visit to the area.
In addition to the COVID-19, cases of cholera and measles have equally been recorded in some localities in the Ocean Division in the past months as health authorities in that part of the country battle on at least three fronts to keep the population safe.
It is in this light that Alim Hayatou kicked off his visit in Londji, a locality in Kribi II where cholera has been at its peak. During a guided tour of the locality led by the head of the health district, Dr Ekedi Moukoko, the team from Yaounde got to witness firsthand the difficulties faced by the local population.
Londji, a small locality beside the sea with fishing as the main activity, is crumbling under the heap of filth with very few latrines along the community. A situation that has favoured the rapid spread of cholera in the locality since May.
According to Dr Martin Bidjang, district head in charge of diseases, the first cholera case in the South Region this year was recorded on May 13. The disease then spread to eleven health units with a total of 779 cases and 35 deaths recorded across the region, Dr Bidjang said. Breaking down the statistics further, he said Kribi is the most affected with 722 cases and 33 deaths recorded, Sangmelima with two cases and two deaths while Meyomessala has recorded five cases and one death.
To fight against cholera outbreak, local authorities say they have adopted the One Health approach which is reliant on multisectorial participation. The City Mayor of Kribi equally revealed they have already carved out a settlement to relocate those in risk zones in Londji and other parts of Kribi.
To this situation, the Secretary General at the Ministry of Public Health called on local authorities to instill discipline in the population and called on health officials to organize regular sanitation campaigns and sensitise to population on the necessity to build latrines.
Away from Londji, the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Public Health made a stop at the Kribi District Hospital where authorities said they have taken all the necessary measures to host COVID-19, cholera patients.
The head of the hospital, Dr Albert Bisse took the team round the health facility including a ward that hosts three children suffering from cholera. The COVID-19 isolation centre at the health facility equally hosts three patients, notably a teacher who was brought in few days after the start of the new school year.
Satisfied with strict measures put in place at the hospital, the Secretary of State then made a stop at the Port Authority of Kribi, where he was taken round at the various control posts to see the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
Alim Hayatou’s tour in Kribi ended with an evaluation meeting during which the Senior Divisional Officer of the Ocean Division Antoine Bissaga who thanked government for the constant support in the fight against the COVID-19 and other diseases in his division.