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The great Prof. Victor Anomah Ngu died on June the 14th, 2011 after having developed a vaccine against HIV / AIDS. Four years after his death, and despite the controversies generated by the invention, the Victor Ngu Anomah hiv vaccine (VANHIVAX), continues to be experienced.

A disciple of the late medical brain, Henry Bissong is ensuring that the Prof. Victor Anomah Ngu legacy reigns forever. Henry Bissong who worked with Anoma Ngu for over twelve years said recently that “the vaccine is very effective and we continue to treat HIV patients, transforming their stages of HIV from positive to negative. We continue to explain that there may be a therapeutic vaccine”

An experimental vaccine test for Ebola in Cameroon will be injected to 400 people of whom 200 will be from Bamenda and another 200 in Yaounde. According to the Minister of Public Health Mama Andre Fouda, Cameroon was selected alongside Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana because of its strategic location in the sub region. He further explained that the vaccine does not contain any virus which can lead to infection noting that the concern persons will be injected with the Ebola virus which however has no guarantee they will be prevented from being infected. The Minister made the declaration October 30 in Yaoundé.

A civil society activist, Betrand Mvogo has condemned the move which is expected to run from October 2015 to October 2016. In a petition to the Head of State, he regretted that Cameroonians are not Guinea pigs and for the State to accept such a thing was putting citizens at a high risk considering that the disease claimed more than 11.000 lives in some six West African countries. Mr. Mvogo further in his open letter to President Biya urged him to seek medical advice from renowned medical practitioners in the country saying if the vaccine trial fails it will fall back negatively on Cameroonians.

Reacting to these worries, Mama Fouda explained that the virus which will be imported into the country had earlier been experimented in Britain, America and Switzerland with positive results and that the dangers of the trail being a failure in the country was a far fetched dream. The experiment to be carried out by the Centre Pasteur in Yaounde and the Regional Hospital in Bamenda will have the blessings from the National Health Institute of America, GSK firm and Glaxo Smith Kline will need 3000 volunteers.

President Paul Biya on November 4, 2015, signed a decree declaring the St Elizabeth Cardiac Centre of the Shisong Catholic Hospital in Bui Division of the North West Region a public utility. According to Dr Emmanuel Maina Djoulde, Head of Division for Cooperation in the Ministry of Public Health, the decree means the centre can now benefit from a number of privileges. 

“Declaring an entity a public utility is a legal provision in Cameroon. This applies to private structures that offer public services recognised for their great impact on the people, which the State acknowledges or recognises,” explained Dr Djoulde. He observed that the structure offers services that should normally be provided by the State. “This status confers certain privileges on the structure and includes fast-track treatment of its files and exonerations in areas like imports, taxes and in general dealings with the State as a whole; which is not the case with other private structures,” stressed Dr Djoulde.

The centre can now formally receive State support – which it has already been enjoying on a case-by-case basis. “The new status also gives more credibility to the Shisong Cardiac Centre and facilitates its dealings with international partners. In addition, the centre can negotiate and receive State staff on secondment as well as negotiate other special deals. However, this is not automatic. Special deals have to be negotiated on a case by case basis,” the Head of Division for Cooperation pointed out. “The decree of the Head of State confers on the Shisong Cardiac Centre the status of a privileged partner of the State.

Before now, the centre was already receiving State assistance in terms of subventions and exonerations on an ad hoc basis. Thus, this recognition has only come to make formal what was already going on. This is a very important decision for the owners of the centre. When it was inaugurated, the Head of State sent a representative. The State has in the past donated a vehicle to the centre as well as offered funds to help construct and equip it,” concluded Dr Emmanuel Maina Djoulde. Managed by the Tertiary Sisters, construction of the St Elizabeth Shisong Cardiac Centre began in 2001 and took eight years to complete. President Paul Biya declared it a reference centre during its inauguration on November 19, 2009. Today, the centre offers Cardiac Surgery and ASD Closure, Diagnostic and Interventional Catheterisation, Coronary Angiography, Diagnostic Coronarography, Pace Maker double and single chamber.

Saturday, 07 November 2015 00:00

Ebola: Sierra Leone set to be declared free

The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone where British nurse Pauline Cafferkey caught the disease is expected to be declared over as a crucial milestone is reached. It is due to be confirmed that 42 days has elapsed since the last new case of the deadly virus - the period of time that must pass for a country to be deemed Ebola-free. Ms Cafferkey contracted the disease after treating patients in Sierra Leone at the height of the outbreak. Following her initial recovery, she is being treated in hospital after falling ill again with meningitis, caused by a re-emergence of the virus. Sierra Leone being declared free of the disease will be a huge relief according to Dr Tumba Junior, a doctor with the charity GOAL based at its treatment centre in Port Loko. "Everyone is celebrating but we have to keep in mind that we must be careful," he said. "We could still have positive cases after this period."

It is 18 months since the outbreak began in West Africa, killing more than 11,000 of the 28,500 people known to have been infected. It claimed nearly 4,000 lives in Sierra Leone. The fear of Ebola has left communities living under a cloud of anxiety and mistrust, unsure where the virus would strike next. Liberia was declared free of Ebola in September but Guinea is still seeing some new cases. On the border with Sierra Leone, no chances are being taken and health checks at the crossing in Kambia are mandatory. Otim Patrick, field co-ordinator for the World Health Organisation at the site, said it is crucial not to "let your guard down". "You can have a case and it takes you back to zero," he said. "For a district like Kambia, which is at the border with Guinea, and with Guinea still having active transmission... they just had a case reported a day ago. "It's important that we maintain the level of vigilance so that complacency does not take us back to square one." At its worst hundreds of new cases were reported every week across West Africa.

Those caring for the sick left no part of their body uncovered if given the chance but too often the vital protection was not available. The outbreak has fuelled medical advances that have seen new vaccines and drugs being developed. But for many of the 17,000 survivors there are health complications to deal with. Head nurse Isatu Mansaray at the Port Loko centre said: "So many of them complain of deafness. "So many of them complain of joint pains... so much being stigmatised by the community so we really need psycho-social therapies. "So many have lost many members of their family, like 10 or 15 members of the family." For the next 90 days, Sierra Leone will be under a heightened state of surveillance to make sure the virus is gone for good. Its people have survived civil war in the country and now Ebola too. If there is a next time, Sierra Leone will be far better prepared. Its people are just hoping it never comes to that. .. . .

Statistics made public by the Ministry of Public Health states that 1, 869 Cameroonians sufferred from snake bites with 32 deaths recorded in 2015. The revelation was made on Wednesday the 4th of November 2015, by the Cameroon Society of Epidemiology at the opening of an International Seminar on managing snake bites. 

The study also noted that out of the 1,869 cases, 739 came from the three Northern Regions of Cameroon, with 23 out of 32 deaths. The study which was carried out by the Cameroon Society of Epidemiology, is a one year research plan ending December 2014. The Minister of Public Health, André Mama Fouda reportedly hailed the efforts made by Epidemiologists for including traditional healers in the fight against snake bites.

Minister Mama Fouda said for many years, traditional healers handled serious cases of snake bites. It is vital to include in this report that 32 out of the 150 snake species in Cameroon are poisonous.

Menstrual hygiene is an important aspect of the sexuality of women; yet, its management remains a taboo in several countries in the world. Access to information is limited and knowledge, attitudes, practices and behaviours in this domain are either unknown or undocumented. It is in this light that a one-day workshop to present the results of study on menstrual hygiene in the South and West Regions of Cameroon, held in Yaounde on November 3, 2015. Speaking at the opening, the Representative of UN Women Cameroon, Adama Moussa, called on participants to make use of the findings for their advocacy purposes. 

The study was entitled, “Menstrual Management: Behaviour and Practices in Kye-Ossi and Bamoungoum, Cameroon.” The key findings show that there is a low level of knowledge on menstrual hygiene management for both those in school and out of school. Similarly, school facilities used by women are poorly maintained and are sparsely used by girls, even during menstruation. The general absence of menstrual pad disposal solutions has a negative impact on the livelihoods of women, the report notes.

The study was conducted in 2014 in Kye-Ossi the South and Bamoungoum in the West Regions; two localities with very different socio-cultural profiles. It looked at menstrual hygiene management-related practices and behaviour and analysed infrastructure and public policies concerning water and sanitation. It also checked the availability and relevance of information on menstrual hygiene management and evaluated the impact on hygiene practices, people’s living conditions, heath education and the employment of women and girls.

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Cameroon Concord  is an online publication covering and reporting on  local and world news, sports, entertainment, politics, business, and religious news. Serving Cameroonians .

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