By Melanie Kengni*
Under the auspices of the Governor of the Northwest Region, Adolphe Lele L’afrique, stake holders of the Region have been briefed on Ebola epidemic preparedness and containment.
It was during this awareness campaign to bar the entry of Ebola virus meeting that, the Governor dismissed the false alarm that the Regional Hospital has received an Ebola case.
The Northwest Regional Delegate of Public Health, Dr Victor Ndifochu and a collaborator, Ghislain Mumbuari in a meeting held at the Governors Office August 14, said they were meeting against a background of wild spread Ebola and Cholera in West African Countries like Nigeria, Gabon, Guinea, and Congo, which have already been affected, with Cholera victimising some of the people of the Far North Region of Cameroon. This epidemic is a threat to the country and a cause for concern because a single case of the Cholera and Ebola in the Country could be like a nuclear bomb explosion.
Dr. Ndiforchu talking on Cholera said it is a feco-oral bacterial disease that is from anus to mouth and also water borne disease and it is sometimes characterized by diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. To prevent Cholera, food should always be well cooked before consumption, drink portable water, wash hands before eating, disinfect food, fruits, salad and other eatables with chlorine bleach(eau de javel), before eating.
He said, as soon as someone has first symptoms, he/she should be rushed to the nearest health facilities for treatment free of charge. Mumbari’s presentation focused on Ebola which kills as it attacks, and it is believed that the virus is transmitted through direct blood contact or secretions of an infected person.
Unsterilised needles, burial ceremonies, handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys and some bush animals are very common means of transmission, including mere shaking of hands with an infected person, transportation of so many people in a single car or any other means of transport which has an infected person.
Anyone suffering from fever that does not respond to treatment of normal causes of fever in that area and who has diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding in gums, skin, conjunctiva, urine, stool, the person should be suspected of Ebola and should be hurried for treatment immediately.
During presentations, it was made clear to everyone that the incubation period is two to 21 days and within these days, the victim cannot transmit the virus; but as at now, there is no drug or vaccine for the prevention or treatment of Ebola. A contingency plan to combat Ebola activities would therefore be the identification of potential sites that could act as Ebola isolation units in bordering health districts.
The Governor of the Northwest Region, Adolphe Lele L’afrique, commissioned everyone to be careful and watchful because Cholera has already attacked the Far North and he prays it never reaches the Northwest. The meeting brought together all SDOs, Regional Delegates, Civil Society Organisations and journalists.
*(CCU Bali Student on internship)