COVID-19 : Authorities caution against stigmatizing patients

Public Health authorities have said persons tested for COVID-19 and their families should  not be stigmatized.

For over 4 months of the disease’ presence in Cameroon, repeated cases of stigmatization have been reported in communities.

Patients and their families have been stigmatized, and the infectious disease ignorantly declared a death sentence by some Cameroonians.

Most people who flew into the country from abroad were automatically looked upon as carriers of the virus, whether or not they had been tested.

As a result of this stigmatization, many people have till date , refused to be screened for the disease, for fear of being considered near outcasts.

During the daily updates at the Emergency Operation Centre on July 28, 2020, publuc health officials  said stigmatization will badly affect the Mobile Testing campaign that has just been launched.

Health experts have made it clear , times  without number, that COVID-19 is a curable disease, and not a death sentence. After  treatment, former patients can not transmit the disease to others, once they have tested negative.

The Mobile Testing campaign is  only complementing the  fixed screening centres that have so far tested  thousands of persons for COVID -19.

Accordingly, the public  is expected to welcome, and cooperate with the health experts to keep the virus at bay.

Cameroon is in the third phase of the pandemic, and the public health authorities are bent on flattening the curve of the pandemic, in the country.

Two weeks back, the Prime Minister remarked that wearing face coverings, hand washing and were social distancing were no longer respected .

But as the new screening strategy begins, health experts are ceasing the opportunity to inform Cameroonians that COVID-19 is not yet history.

This is why the officials stress that   everyone  must strictly respect the COVID-19 preventive measures .

Kathy Neba Sina 

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