The Far North appears to be one of the areas where the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has been best managed in the country. According to Dr. Linda Esso (Sub-director for the Fight against Epidemics and Pandemics, Ministry of Public Health, Cameroon), this region is one of the successful examples of how COVID-19 combatting measures can be adapted to the evolution of the disease and local realities.
The official praised the region’s management during a press briefing on September 20, 2020. As of September 16, 2020, the number of confirmed cases nationwide was 20,371 while in the Far North, the count was only 463 for 223 recovered and 9 deaths. This represents a lethality rate of 1.9%. Five patients are currently interned in the Covid-19 care centers and none of them show signs of severity. Also, the region has only 5 out of the 84 pregnant women infected with the coronavirus in Cameroon.
It is also the region with the lowest number of infected health care personnel. Since the beginning of the pandemic in Cameroon on March 6, 2020, only six (6) health workers have tested positive out of the 836 cases nationwide. According to Dr. Linda Esso, this can be explained by the regional incident management system applied and the infectious diseases prevention and control training provided to the health workers.
Indeed, local authorities reacted quickly to the first signs of the disease in the country by activating the regional response system even before the first positive cases were detected on April 29, 2020.
Also, massive screening campaigns are being carried out as well as awareness-raising campaigns to always remind residents of the need to respect safety measures (like wearing masks in public places).
"We salute the populations of the Far North who are helping limit the transmission of the disease by practicing the recommended safety measures. We encourage them to maintain these habits and to invite their friends and family to do the same," Dr. Esso said.
Patricia Ngo Ngouem