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Bakassi Population Demands Payment Before Vaccination, Health Treatment 

By Maxcel Fokwen

The Bakassi District Medical Officer, DMO, Dr. Alphonse Akaragwe says the demand for payment before vaccination and other medical treatments are a major obstacle to healthcare delivery in the oil rich peninsular.

The medic made the revelation to The Post on the sideline of the Southwest Regional Health Coordination meeting held in Kumba on July 27.

According to Dr. Akaragwe, the people of Bakasi often demand payment from health officials before vaccinating them or their children against any diseases.

He explained that a week before the Regional Coordination meeting, health officials were on the field for vaccination campaign against polio, but the population demanded to be paid before such health campaigns are carried out on them.

Akaragwe said the lack of cooperation between the medics and the population adds to the plethora of problems that bedevils healthcare delivery in the Bakasssi area.

“Even when you arrange, some people will refuse that you should not vaccinate their children. We have mobilised and tried so many times to no avail,” Akaragwe told The Post.

Besides, the health official said the challenges of child birth are still abound in the peninsular.
He said women in Bakassi prefer giving birth to children in the homes of traditional birth attendants, their homes and even churches.

He said this system of delivery out of modern medical standards has remained a nightmare for administrators and mayors in Bakassi.

The abnormalities in child birth, the medic said, account for the high mortality rate in the peninsular.
Bakassi, Akaragwe noted, is a major hub for malaria like other areas in Cameroon. “Typhoid and HIV/AIDS are equally rampant in the area.”

The behavioural pattern of the people, the DMO maintained, makes it difficult to get statistics on certain pathology.

He said every time a new infection props up, the people either stay quiet or cross over to Nigeria.
He sounded positive that efforts are being made to improve on delivery and pathology statistics.

The Medic lauded Government’s interventions through the Ministry of Public Health.
He expressed the wish for such actions to be sustained. He said aspects such as the provision of medication for sale to the population must be continued.

On other working conditions, the DMO said though he is not comfortable, he remains bound by the love for country to serve anywhere “as long as it is part of Cameroon.”

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