Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Special Triennial Plan for Youth: Youth Affairs Minister Assess 2021 fiscal year

A biannual internal evaluation meeting of the activities of the Special Triennial Youth Plan has taken place in Yaoundé under the supervision of the Minister of Youth and Civic Education, Mounouna Foutsou.

The internal semi-annual evaluation meeting for activities of the Special-Youth Triennial Plan and the delivery of rolling stock to the Technical Operational Units for the monitoring of said plan, was examined on June 29, 2021 at Yaoundé City Hall.

Minister Mounouna Foutsou, accompanied by his counterparts presided over the ceremony; Issa Tchiroma Bakary for employment and vocational training, Pauline Irène Nguene for Social Affairs and Pr Marie Thérèse Abena Ondoa for the promotion of women and the family.

The restitution phase of the Special Trennial Plan for Youth was presented by Abdoul-Karim Nassourou, Director of Youth Economic Promotion (DPEJ) at MINJEC. 

The later presents a general framework for the implementation of the plan to MINJEC; assessment of the components of the Special Youth Trennial Plan; the synthesis of funding for young people according to the grids; the presentation of difficulties to be overcome; as well as needs and prospects.

The documentary on the Success Stories of the plan in the region
was presented, a d it was realized that the Special-Youth Triennial plan continued to prove its worth since its launch in 2016 by the Head of State, H.E Paul Biya.

Information revealed that most young people who have been funded in various fields such as agriculture, industry, innovation are grateful for the benefits of this plan which allowed them to become autonomous.

The youths benefitting from this plan from the Head of State, through MINJEC, have helped their peers who are job seekers, empowering them by giving them a job.

Young people from the Central Region expressed gratitude to government for "this gift made. Cameroonian youth ”by the President of the Republic. Results for the last six months are said to be "more than satisfactory".

The Special Triennial Youth Plan which, in 2020 financed around 5,500 projects for a total amount of 15 billion FCFA and allowed the installation of a little more than 16,000 young people in 66 pioneer villages of the second generation", said the Youth Affairs Minister Mounouna Foutsou.

The Minister restored the framework and in his speech, urged all stakeholders to double their efforts to complete the implementation of the 2021 roadmap within the timeframe prescribed by the Prime Minister Head of Government, Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute.

The ceremony ended with the solemn handing over of the rolling stock to the operational technical units of MINJEC, in particular brand new vehicles and motorcycles.

By Ndefru Melanie

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Bafut Pupils at Down Town Bamenda Encouraged to Use Pens Not Guns in Decision Making

Ngwakongoh Lawrence, Mayor of Bafut Council has given advice to Bafut pupils schooling in G.B.S Down Town Bamenda, taking part in the First School Leaving Examinations, that they should be upright citizens and make Cameroon a better place by using their pens as a weapon to build society.

Mayor talking to Pupils at G.B.D Down Town

He was speaking at Government Bilingual School Down Town, offering Didatic/writing material, facemasks to these pupils who could not sit for the F.S.L.C exams in Bafut sub division, given the prevailing security situation and moved to town.

He encouraged them to write their exams with confidence and in good health, given the context of the dual crisis faced in the region.

Items offered by Mayor

Pens, Pencils, erasers rulers were offered to these pupils, asking them to pay attention to the rules and regulations of their exams before attempting the questions asked.

Mayor Offers Didatic Material to Bafut Pupils

The children were adviced to be upright citizens,to take their studies serious and stand by the pen, as the only tool that has the power to change decisions and bring development in a country.

"You have the power of the pen to make decisions rather than Use arms to express your grievances." Ngwakongoh Lawrence, Mayor of Bafut speaking to pupils at Down town Bamenda.

The teachers and Pupils were pleased by the Mayors presence, as most of them being children from Bafut, escaping to safer grounds, had the anxiety to pursue their studies.

The Mayor felt satisfied and told them about scholarships set aside for the first 10students who will emerge best from the exams.

"A good number of these pupils are from Bafut who have turned out here to write the F.S.L.C Exams. As an Elite of the area and the Mayor of Bafut, I came to appreciate these children, who have done their best to study given our context."

"If they have decided to use their pens, it means they have decided to make the world, especially Cameroon a better place. The Bafut Council is therefore setting aside scholarships to encourage the first 10 pupils who emerge best from the exams". Mayor Bafut Council.

The Number of pupils in the school had increased from about 60 of them last year to over 300 people registering for the First School Leaving Certificate exams this year. The Mayor said this increase was a sign that peace is gradually gaining grounds and education is on one hand gaining steam.

These Pupils taking part in exams within the era of the Covid-19 pandemic recieved facemask from the Elite, to stay healthy during their exams and stay safe from the virus.

"I gave them facemasks to let them know that Corona is a reality and that they should put them on at all times, respect barrier measures, to stay healthy and safe, especially while they take on their exams" Mayor of Bafut.

Bafut Mayor Addressing Parents who came to support their Children take their Exams

These Parents, most of whom were from Bafut, were not left out. Because of Insecurity, they sat at one corner of the campus, waiting for their children to finish the first part of their exams.

The Mayor appreciated them for the task and effort made on their part to ensure that the children take their education seriously, supporting them with facemaska and a token to help transport themselves back home after the session.

Parents appreciating the Mayor's Efforts in Encouraging Education

This gesture from Ngwakongoh Lawrence done in the early hours on Tuesday, June 29th 2021 in Bamenda, was also appreciated by the parents who felt government was also making afforts in protecting and encouraging their kids to acquire knowledge.

On June 29th 2021, most pupils in primary schools in the Northwest region and beyond, are expected to take the First School Leaving Certificate exams, while Secondary schools across the nation take off with GCE examinations.

By Ndefru Melanie


Monday, June 28, 2021

Technical Shops Emmerge in Nkambe as Products of Three-Year Special Youth Plan

A team form the Divisional Delegation of Youth Affairs and Civic Education in Donga Mantung, visited the Electronic and Maintenance workshop in Nkambe to make an appraisal of structures put up by youths of the area, benefitting from the Three-Year Special Youth plan.

A Carpenter and tailoring workshop, an Electronic workshop has been put up by some youths: Clem Emei for carpentry, Nform Ndi for electronic repairs and Fort Kalo Futunate for tailoring, benefitting from funding through the Three-Year Special Youth plan in the Northwest Region.

The Three-Year Special Youth Plan in the Northwest region is under the general supervision of the Regional Delegate of MINJEC, Nimpa Bonaventure and the Regional Chief of the Multipurpose Youth Empowerment Centre, who had the Sub Delegate and Chief of Centre in Nkambe Sub division  make an appraisal of these technical workshops.

The maintenance of all electronic appliances had; radio, cell phones and television even those with single battery.
The production and sales of wood products: chairs, table, cupboards. The tailoring workshop, producing local dresses for children, women, men, boys and girls wears.

These activities in Nkambe has set the pace to stop unemployment in this sub division: by training youths in these domains and employing others for more production, to satisfy the needs of customers.

Though the amount of subvention is 500,000 Cfa Francs, yet the youths or young beneficiaries of the plan talked about facing some challenges/ difficulties and need amelioration.

By Ndefru Melanie

Sunday, June 27, 2021

MIDENO's 51st BOD Meeting Examines 2020 Challenges and 2021 Realizations

Board of Directors, MIDENO

MIDENO is a pilot Institution in the rural development of the Northwest region and achieving it's role in accelerating Development strides will mean an increase in production and productivity.

The main objective for the 51st BOD meeting was to examine Administrative accounts held at the Board of Director conference room-MIDENO, on June 23rd 2021 in Bamenda.

The BOD meeting handled issues on the Administrative and Management accounts of MIDENO for 2020 and examined progress reports on its investment and realisations for 202, yet the ongoing armed conflict in the Northwest region is preventing MIDENO from meeting the development aspirations of the local population.

Though the meeting held to check and balance management funds , improving on lapses identified was an objective and key on the agenda of the meeting.

NW Governor

The chairman, Northwest Governor Adolohe Lele LAfrique identified that there was a drastic reduction from the 2020 BIP allocation to MIDENO and non allocation of Investment subvention to MIDENO for 2021 fiscal year.

Despite the present Investment allocation predicament, MIDENO successfully organized and launched the 2021 Farming season in Santa subdivision and donated farm inputs to farmers.

 Cletus Anye Matoya

MIDENO's Focus for 2021 as part of its investment plan will be; realization of strategic studies leading to design of development projects, build capacity of staff to enhance performance give access to farmers for quality inputs, put in place rural infratructures, provide good equipment to service farmers in the region and also supervise implementation of projects.

By Ndefru Melanie


Giant Projects Worth Over 900 million Cfa francs Launched In Bamenda, Targets Persons with Disabilities

Julius Niba Country Director CBM

The Country Director of CBM for Cameroon and Central Africa, Julius Niba revealed that launching 2 giant Projects with the CBC Health services, is part of an emergency response in the ongoing crisis turned an armed conflict.

"We started in Southwest in 2020 to the North West with a program that is focused on persons with disabilities. This is for the next 24 months to the tune of of 1.4 million Euro that is about 980 million". Country Director CbM.

The Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services, CBCHS and the Christian Blind Mission (CBM) launched 2 giant Projects, targeting over 2700 persons living with disabilities, in order to provide Inclusive Humanitarian Response, while targeting displaced persons and their host communities.

It was revealed during the launch that, these projects; "Disability Inclusive Humanitarian Action" and the "Inclusive Eye Care project," are expected to run from June 2021 to May 2023. The projects according to the Country Director of CBM, will be made affordable as it will be implemented in the context of Covid-19.

"We are launching two projects the inclusive emergency response project in the context of COVID-19 to bring important and affordable eye care to the region given that COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the capacity of eye care partners to continue providing eye care services" Country Director CbM.

According to him, the absence of these services is a high risk for blindness. Reason why a support of 400,000 Euros had been made available to ensure that patients and care givers are protected and highly equiped to continue providing eye care services to prevent blindness.

"At CBM our technical domain is health and protection but we understand the response to the crisis includes other domains so we aspire to mainstream disability to other humanitarian actors so that in their domains of work they also include persons with disabilities".

Persons with Disabilities in attendance

Sign language interpreter

Most of these persons living with disability have cried foul that they have been neglected since the humanitarian response phase of the crisis started; not being part of the people that recieve aid in the Northwest region, while others only hear of it when it is already over.

Director CBC Health Services

To meet the needs of those in the Interior, community mobilizers, volunteers and other health providers will be trained and equiped to effectively implement the project. Professor Tih Pius Mofih says the CBC Health Services will be the implementing partner to have these persons living with disabilities have access to health care services.

"The current prevalence of disability in the north west region stands at 10.5℅ and it's expected to increase as a result of the ongoing crisis. The CBC Health Services will conduct over 200 medical outreach campaigns, yet the beneficiaries will have need to pay a charge which will be their transport to get this basic care" Director of the CBC Health Services,Prof. Tih Pius Mufih.

Cataract surgical services, dispensing of quality eye glasses, primary eye care service and many others are some of the areas of interest. The CBC Health Services just like the Christain Blind Mission, CBM has a main objective to support these persons with disabilities.

The project is under the sponsorship of the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO) through the Christian Blind Mission (CBM), with implementing partner being the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services, CBCHS.

By Ndefru Melanie

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Advertorial: AziCCUL Accompanies Parents Invest in Children's Education

The President of AziCCUL, Divine Nde Momuluh

Azire Co-operative Credit Union Limited (AziCCUL), believes that investing in the life of children is a more sustainable development goal, calling on would be members to be part of its services in order to benefit from this vice.

"One thing we are encouraging is the education of children, when we invest in the lives of children, we invest in the life of the country. In times like this when we have an ongoing crisis it is difficult for parents to have access to finances. That is why we are expanding our school fees loans to be easy, so that parents can sponsor their children in School". Mr Divine Nde, President of AziCCUL.

AziCCUL is offering opportunities for new members to benefit from. The union has adopted a resolution to encourage members with micro- loans.

AziCCUL's President talking to Civiclens Online

"It is a practice which we have been doing but we had to fine-tune it so that people that are just starters in life or who just opened an account with us, can be able to get their projects financed by the union".

"It is really easy to open an account with us, we can be able to start a business for you even as little as 100,000frs or 50,000frs. With such loans, we can help u progress to whatever level you can go". AziCCUL's President.

AziCCUL has several products and services it offers for the growing needs of its members. The account clerks of the union are ready to assist members go about opening their accounts; Shares account, saving account, Deposit account and loan account- where the credit facility of a member is recorded.

Besides the different accounts from which new members may choose to open, the union also has money transfer services; Internal money and Western Union money transfer.
This is to avoid it's members travel with huge sums of money.

AziCCUL has mobile money services which it's members use, members can pay electricity bills via the union, thanks to it's partnership with Maviance-Cameroon LTD, making this possible for all AziCCUL's branch offices.

It offers currency exchange services and Prepaid Visa cards; thanks to it's partnership with the UBA Bank. Civil servants and private sector employees can as well recieve their salaries via AziCCUL.

AziCCUL is installing a new software system and working on its co-banking system, where members can sit in the confines of their homes and work on their phones; make deposits from their mobile money into their accounts.

"Members can go to any ATM machine around town and do withdrawals. Gone are those days where you que up in offices to withdraw money. That's the greatest place where covid can easily be gotten. With our cobanking system, coming up in a month's time, am very positive that it will decongest our offices, you can only came when its absolutely necessary".

"Our interest rates, planned and budgeted to pay to members as of now is not really encouraging considering the times we find ourselves in but not withstanding, we are encouraging members to come and open their accounts with us and discover our services" AziCCUL's President.

AziCCUL's Logo

AziCCUL is making efforts to open a branch in Buea, Limbe and other locations in Douala. As at now their branch office is on Kumba and Douala; feu rouge Bessengue, Bonaberi and Village and kumba.

"It is difficult sometimes for people to leave Buea to do buisness in Douala or kumba with the Union's offices in these towns, the reason why we are actually trying to bring it closer to the people".

AziCCUL's Head office in Bamenda

AziCCUL's head office is located behind the Municipal Stadium Mankon in Bamenda, with branch offices at Commercial avenue, Alizane building, Nkwen Way-in, Ntarikon and Mbengwi.

"We thank our fervent members who have persisted to live with us through this very difficult moment. Our liquidity stands really strong, we encourage members to come and save money with Azire because as of now, we are still the biggest in Cameroon and probably the biggest in sub Saharan Africa." AziCCUL's President.

By Ndefru Melanie


Media: Bakah Derick Announced on New Reality TV Show

Bamenda based celebrated media personality Bakah Derick has confirmed he will be hosting a new Reality TV show to be produced in the city.

"I feel happy that the CEO of Mirror Entertainment bestowed his confidence in me to be host of his new product which is a reality TV Show. I am more so excited by the fact that he decided to use the initials of my name BD for the show. I am also satisfied with his technical capacity to produced such a show." Bakah Derick confided when we contacted him via a messaging app.

Though he refused to disclose how much he will be paid, the new reality TV Show host admits he will not be working for nothing. "The show will be able to provide some food for me and the family." He said with laughter adding "accepting to host the show is first because i love my town and i love the media. I have other things i do so hosting the show is not really for the money."

Expected to begin showing early July, The BD Show" according to the host will be "sharing the lifestyle" of his city stars  with a strong sense of humour. 

"Many people do not know our musicians, fashion designers, media professionals, photographers etc beyond their jobs. I think the CEO of Mirror Entertainment thought well to come up with such a platform where we can valourise and give more visibility to our city stars." He said. 

From Abakwa FM Radio Bamenda, The Guardian Post daily news paper, the Communication department of the Cameroon Football Federation FECAFOOT, Hilltopvoices Multimedia, plenty of multimedia work etc,  Bakah Derick brings to the show a huge experience and full suitcase going by his popularity in the city.

By Ndefru Melanie

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Youth Affairs Minister Signs MoU with UN Agencies

In order to boost the Education sector in Cameroon, which is at the center of objectives for the Cameroon government, Monouna Foutsou signed an agreement with 5 UN agencies.

Within the framework of supporting young people and their education, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, Mounouna Foutsou, received on June 23, 2021 the heads of all five UN agencies.

These are: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), The Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO ), the United Nations of International Children's emergency Fund (UNICEF) and UN-women.

Indeed, the central point of the exchanges was on the “Education Plus” project. This “Education Plus” project is a United Nations project, co-directed by UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNICEF, Unfypa and UNWomen.

Mounouna Foutsou appreciated the cooperation actions undertaken by these agencies, including the Cameroonian government. He cited actions which always promote the development of Cameroon and the improvement of the conditions of life of its citizens.

Savina Ammassari, UNAIDS Country Director for Cameroon, presented the “Education Plus” project, with the main objective of reducing new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women.

According to her presentations, keeping girls in school until the end of secondary school or prolonged schooling is an important means of protection against HIV, which will further strengthen the autonomy of adolescents and young women to fully play their role in society.

It follows that the above-mentioned project is an awareness-raising initiative, mobilization and advocacy aimed at encouraging actors to engage in the mobilization of financial resources and partners, in order to strengthen policies and programs in favor of adolescent girls and young women.

Some statistics were recalled by the resident representative of UNFPA Cameroon: 41% of girls have a complete knowledge of HIV, 20% among girls aged 15-24 against less than 1% among young boys of the same age group. 19% of girls in the same age group have already had a child, the use of contraception is not widespread among young girls.

The “Education Plus” project “aims at keeping girls in school until the end of secondary school in order to significantly reduce the number of HIV infections and put an end to AIDS by the horizon 2030” said Savina Ammassari.

“We have realized that there are a lot of infections that are recorded in the groups of girls and young women aged 15 to 24 in Cameroon. They are nine times more infected with HIV than boys and young men of the same age”.she added.

Improvement on the education curricula, will also mean particular emphasis be laid on non-formal education, considering persons living with disability and vulnerable people.

Therefore the synergy of these UN Agencies is needed for funding and the search for funding in order to facilitate the implementation of the various projects targeting Youth.

Mounouna Foutsou stressed that these are in reality structures attached to MINJEC, in which public or even private actors can act. Adding that multifunctional centers can allow the development of non-formal education as a way of supporting this project “Education Plus”.

MINJEC suggested that there was need to integrate the Youth connekt initiative into the project in order to facilitate communication with young people.

According to the Secretary General of MINJEC, Zachée Robert Théophile Benga, the working logic be more oriented towards global action plans.

By Ndefru Melanie

NtaCCUL Opts to Revamp Ruined Buisnesses of Members and Would be Members

General Manager, Ntarinkon Cooperative Credit Union

The General Manager of Ntarinkon Co-operative Credit Union LTD Ade Muma Divine, has demonstrated consciousness on the fact that many people have lost their buisnesses and finances given the ongoing armed conflict. For this reason, he told Civiclens that NtaCCUL is ready to bief up the buisnesses of members and would be members.

Speaking to the General Manager of NtaCCUL in an exclusive Interview, he revealed that the union has been operating within the context of the ongoing crisis and is ready to be part of the solutions of the armed conflict by empowering it's members economically, while instilling hope in those who still want to belong.

"We have the responsibility to be part of the solution to the crisis. For our members, we have already approved a budget, a recovery program whereby once the tension drops in the course of the conflict, we will grant some soft loans to bring members back to buisness." GM NtaCCUL.

NtaCCUL receiving The Guardian Post Achievement Award in June Yaounde as the best Microfinance Institution in the CEMAC Region

NtaCCUL members demonstrate transparent democracy in the election of their Board of Directors.

NtaCCUL, an Award Winning Micro finance institution, always thinks of empowering it's members at all times, reason why the GM encouraged all persons who are still making a decision to be part of the union, to do so with delight and benefit from NtaCCUL's services.

"We are asking those who are not members to be part of us, we urge them to join because once they do, the Union will help their buisnesses to grow because we are aware that most of the buisnesses have been ravaged by war in times of conflict".

"Buyam-sellams have been displaced, most petit traders have lost their capital, most don't even have the reasources to get back to buisness. It is our objective, our intension to make sure these persons bounce back", he added.

NtaCCUL's Head Office Building, Ntarikon Bamenda

NtaCCUL has been earmarked as a Micro- finance institution that alleviates poverty by looking out for it's members, "improve on living standards of famillies, while encouraging famillies to send their kids to school and even handle health challenges."

"The credit union is design to help the poor, it is a weapon to change the lives of poor people. So people who want to be part of us, it is easy to for them to create accounts with even less that 10,000cfa francs."

NtaCCUL has a micro credit department that goes round to see how to establish members in small scale buisnesses, so that " they can be able to take out the stress felt during this time".
Saving up with NtaCCUL has become easier given mobile money services introduced to members. By this, most persons can save up even at a distance, while respecting barrier measures against the pandemic Covid-19.

As more and more people continue to enjoy mobile money services, because of its rapidity and accessibility, many users have confirmed it is the safest and quickest way to save money with NtaCCUL.

Branches with their Mobile Money Coordinates


Bamenda-Foot Market









According to the Marketing Master, Mr Tahkuli Maurice, it is important for NtaCCUL to have back up by being affiliated to Rainbow Co-operative Credit Union which is her umbrella union, located at the Emperor building, Small Mankon. It also acts as a service organ that monitors and supervises credit unions under its armpit.

The Chief of Marketing was proud to say that "NtaCCUL is the Gateway to Financial Strength by virtue of the fact that she has consistently paid 6 and 5% interest on members savings, viability in liquidity, ability to finance both micro and macro projects of members". 

"Its strategically located ultra-modern buildings and provision of social services to members and the general public."

NtaCCUL has a new branch at Nlongkak Round-about in Yaoundé, arround the MRS Fuel Station, already Operational. She is expanding her branches, bringing her services closer to the people, for the benefit of would be members.

NtaCCUL Building,  Bonaberi Branch

NtaCCUL is the first credit union to have Automated Teller Machines which operates freely without charges within NtaCCUL and the UBA bank.

By Ndefru Melanie


International Widows Day: Egwatcho Elizabeth Shares her Story, Seeks for Assistance

Many Widows have told stories of how they push through with life's challenges, living in extreme poverty and hardship, requesting assistance from people in their immediate environment in order to survive.

In some communities across the nation or in some countries across the world, stigmatization exist as being a widow is seen as a "taboo status". Most of these women fend for themselves and their children just to survive, yet society questions the means they get to do so.

Commemorating International Widows Day on June 23rd 2021 is all about "Creating Awareness Worldwide" and this year the day is celebrated under the theme " Invisible Women, Invisible Problems".

Talking to Madam Egwatcho Elizabeth, she says, " It is difficult coping on my own. I take up all the responsibility of my children's education, their upkeep and feeding all by myself".

She goes further to say, " Finance is a great challenge faced by us widows. If you do not have enough money for financing, some issues will arise, disturbing questions are asked as to where do get money for the children's upkeep." Madam Egwatcho Elizabeth continues to tell her Story.

Most times Widows believe they can always get help from in-laws and relatives, some say nothing is done and that this extended part of the family rather adds more stress to what the bereaved woman is already facing.

"If my in-law can come in to assist me financially together with family members and friends, it will help meet up with my children's demands; school fee, rent and upkeep. I struggle alone to see how I can provide for them. This I cannot do alone reasons why I need assistance from friends, family and in-laws".

"My husband was a civil servant. To follow up his files in Yaounde is a big problem. I had to collect his pension in Yaounde but I could not have access to it. If I suceeded with the files, it would have helped me and my children, to bring them up morally, education wise and financially."

"If a child has something to lean back on in the family, it makes them better people in society, while avoiding them get into frustration and being wayward". She explained.

She ended up reccomending that government should make it easy for widoes to follow up on their late husband's pension file in order to sustain the family left behind.

"We plead for assistance from the government, friends, relatives and family members because coping with such a situation is not an easy task".

By Fozao Vaniela

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Doctors Without Borders Demand Access from Government to Serve Humanity

Doctors without Borders believes that with continuous suspension on its activities in the Northwest region, while the armed conflict is still ongoing, will shatter the hopes of thousands who need urgent life-saving health care services on a daily basis.

"The services of Doctors without Borders are free, my old mother or father in the village will only have to dial their number and these doctors will go to their rescue. Ever Since their activities were suspended in the Northwest Region, it has not been easy to manage severe health cases in Bamenda, especially on ghost towns" a food vendor, in Bamenda explained.

In a Press Release issued by Doctors Without Borders on June 22nd 2021, they demanded that the government of Cameroon should lift the ban that suspends their activities in the Northwest region.

"Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is still denied the resumption of its healthcare care services in the region, six months after the forced suspension of its activities by Cameroonian authorities. MSF calls on the government of Cameroon to immediately lift this suspension and prioritize the medical needs of the population."

Given the violence in Cameroon’s anglophone regions of North-West and South-West, it has led to a catastrophic situation for the population; raids on villages, kidnappings, torture, destruction of properties, extrajudicial killings have become the new normal in what is commonly known as the “anglophone crisis”.

In 2018, in agreement with Cameroon’s Ministry of Health, Doctors Without Borders launched an emergency response to the critical health situation North-West and South-West regions by supporting health facilities.

Setting up the only free 24/7 ambulance services and supporting community health volunteers, in order to reach remote populations and those struggling to access healthcare facilities.

But on 8th December 2020, MSF was suspended from working in the North-West region as Cameroonian authorities accused the NGO of being too close to non-state armed groups in the area.

Despite months of discussions to respond to these allegations, MSF has been unable to restart its operations, leaving tens of thousands of people without access to lifesaving free health care.

Vital medical services have been denied for six months now, and this is taking an unacceptable toll on Cameroonian citizens, many of whom have fled to the bush, unable to bear the sights, sounds and threats of violence any longer”, says Emmanuel Lampaert, MSF Operations Coordinator for Central Africa.

This decision represents a substantial blow to medical and humanitarian access”. As we speak, our community health workers see people die and suffer because of the lack of treatment available in villages and displaced communities, and our ambulance call centre continues to receive emergency requests, which they are forced to decline." He added.

Doctors Without Borders demand that their operations cannot remain on hold indefinitely because the hold can later turn the situation to
a massive health crisis.

"While armed violence and violations of human rights have made the headlines in the past years, the impact of this crisis on people’s basic medical needs has often been overlooked in the international media. "

However, according to the latest UN figures, the flare up of violence in the anglophone regions of Cameroon has pushed more than 700,000 people to flee their homes, while over 60,000 have fled to neighbouring Nigeria.

Today, people’s living conditions are massively affected by the crisis and over 1.4 million people are considered in need of humanitarian support in North-West and South-West Cameroon.

Access to healthcare services is of major concern in the North-West and South-West regions”, says Emmanuel Lampaert.

Because of insecurity, lockdowns, curfews and the targeting of health facilities, access to healthcare is extremely limited, with at least one in five facilities non-functioning".

Displaced populations barely dare to move to health facilities, and the economic downturn has made it still harder to travel to hospital, or even to afford treatment.

Unsurprisingly, mortality among vulnerable groups such as women and children has increased , and the suspension of our medical support made the situation even worse.”

Doctors Without Borders have treated patients for rape, torture, burns and gunshots, the vast majority of patients have been those in need of medical assistance for childbirth, malaria or diarrhoea, especially displaced communities.

Last year, MSF-supported community health workers conducted over to 150,000 consultations for communities in both regions.

The support that was being provided by Doctors Without Borders and other humanitarian organisations proved to be more vital as insecurity and attacks on staff have limited the number of organizations present at field level to provide lifesaving services.

We are one of the few medical organisations present in those two regions to respond to people’s emergency medical needs, in a very challenging context” says Emmanuel Lampaert.

Since we started our interventions, our medical staff, volunteers and patients have regularly faced threats and violence from both state and non-state armed groups, with very little respect shown for the humanitarian principles of impartiality and neutrality.

"Our ambulances have been fired on and stolen, community health workers have faced sexual assault and murder, armed men have opened fire inside medical facilities, and our colleagues have faced death threats. Despite these extremely difficult situations, our staff kept on providing care to people in need, day after day.”

In 2020, MSF teams in the North-West region treated 180 survivors of sexual violence; 1,725 mental health consultations were provided; 3,272 surgeries were performed; 4,407 patients were referred by ambulance, of which more than 1,000 were women in labour; 42,578 consultations were provided by community health volunteers, mostly for malaria, diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections.

Doctors without Borders has been working in Cameroon since 1984. It now runs a medical humanitarian projects in the far north, and in the South-West regions of the country.

"We have been working in the North-West and South-West since 2018 to provide maternity and obstetric care; surgical care; treatment for diseases like malaria, cholera and Covid-19; and an ambulance service available seven days a week, 24 hours a day to get people to hospital during emergencies."

In December, 2020, it's activities in the North-West were suspended by the Cameroonian authorities and many are yet to see the government allow them continue with activities, we they are known to offer free health care services.

By Ndefru Melanie