Fighting Epidemics : Public Health Minister Stresses on Vaccination

Public Health Minister, Dr. Manaouda Malachie has said vaccination is the most effective way of preventing the spread of epidemics, especially those that have swept through the country recently.

Cameroon has been grappling with the #COVID19 pandemic since its outbreak in March 2020, and recently, the cholera, Measles, and Monkeypox, Yellow Fever and Poliomyelitis outbreaks.

During a press briefing in Yaoundé on October 26, the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Manouda Malachie, disclosed the epidemiological situation of these epidemics in the country. He also presented government’s efforts to fight these epidemics.

COVID-19 Figures

As of October 19, 2022, 123,993 confirmed cases, 121,928 recoveries and 1,965 deaths have been reported in Cameroon, according to Dr.
Manaouda Malachie. The lethality rate is 1.6%, and about 2 million doses of vaccines have been administered. The Public Health Minister also disclosed that Cameroon witnessed the fourth wave of the #COVID19 pandemic in January and the fifth wave in September 2022. But before that, the Ministry had carried out three sero-prevalence surveys across the national territory since August 2021.

Cameroon also reached herd immunity following the 5th wave of the pandemic. The vaccination coverage remains below 10%. At the same time, the country has witnessed a vaccine hesitancy estimated at 66% owing to rumours and concerns regarding the quality of the vaccines.

12,952 Cholera cases Recorded

The cholera epidemic has been recurrent in Cameroon since October 2021. Eight regions – the Center, Far North, West, Littoral, East, North, South and South West regions have been affected. As of October 20, 2022, 12,952 cases, and 272 deaths have been recorded. As of now, four regions namely the Centre, Far North, Littoral and West regions are grappling with the disease.

Dr. Manaouda Malachie says the government is strengthening the epidemiological surveillance in the ten regions of the country. In the meantime, three rounds of reactive vaccination campaigns have been organized to prevent the spread of the disease.

Measles and Poliomyelitis

A total of 2148 measles cases in 50 health districts spread across the 10 regions of the country have also been reported in the country. Cameroon maintains the “wild poliovirus-free country”, status owing to sustained efforts to strengthen herd immunity. Public health authorities have also organized campaigns to combat the type 2 poliovirus circulating in the sub region .

Monkeypox

Regarding monkepox, twelve confirmed cases including two deaths have be recorded in Cameroon since the start of the year. The case fatality rate is 4%. Four out of 10 regions have been affected by the disease –the Centre, North-West, South, and South-West regions.

Yellow Fever

As concerns yellow fever, 27 cases have been confirmed in 23 health districts in nine regions of Cameroon since the beginning of 2022. Public Health officials say the Far North is the only region that has not been affected by the disease.
As the government continues to combat these epidemics across the country, Dr. Manaouda Malachie calls on Cameroonians to adhere to preventive and control methods in place. He stressed on the importance of vaccination which is the best prevention method.

 

Kathy Neba Sina 

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