On February 26, 2021, in Douala, the Minister of Public Health (Minsanté) Manaouda Malachie will receive 10 ambulances out of the 25 planned for the national plan of response against the coronavirus. This was announced in a press release published on February 24, 2021.
According to the release, the ambulances will facilitate the medical evacuation of people affected by the coronavirus pandemic, in a context where the number of cases has been rising again and the bed occupancy rate has increased from 0.5% to 5%.
The acquisition of these rolling medical equipment will also help strengthen the Cameroonian health system, which has been severely tested by the pandemic.
The equipment is acquired in the framework of an agreement signed between the Cameroonian government and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to provide an immediate response to Covid-19 through the provision of vital medical and non-medical equipment such as ambulances, laboratory equipment, breathing apparatus, personal protective equipment, portable radios, etc... These items are intended to improve screening and early diagnosis capabilities, in addition to assisting in disease management.
The surge of the pandemic
"This partnership represents an opportunity to transform our health system to better cope with the possible resurgence of epidemics and pandemics in Cameroon," says Manaouda Malachie.
This delivery comes in the aftermath of the resurgence of polio in the country, with the occurrence of a new epidemic in Yaoundé. Indeed, according to health authorities, two new cases of type 2 poliovirus have been identified in environmental samples in Cité Verte.
To mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the IDB provided $27.44 million (about XAF16.46 billion) to support Cameroon’s actions. Thanks to this financial support, the United Nations Development Program is acquiring emergency medical equipment and supplies on behalf of Cameroon in the framework of a $13.8 million agreement signed on 23 July 2020 with the Cameroonian authorities to strengthen the health system and support the country's post-coronavirus recovery.
"This financial support is part of the WHO's "No regret" approach which aims to strengthen Cameroon's health system sustainably and comprehensively. In addition to what we have already delivered, I would like to express my gratitude to the Cameroonian government and the IDB for trusting the UNDP for this operation," said Jean-Luc Stalon, country representative of this UN agency.
As of February 18, 2021, Cameroon officially had 33,749 confirmed positive cases, including 523 deaths.