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For over five months now since the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic and the first confirmed case of the infection in Cameroon, yohedahealthsolutions.com has tried to keep track of its evolution while highlighting the positive contributions of various Cameroonians in the fight against the pandemic. It is in this respect that the association has published its list of the top ten Cameroonian personalities that can objectively be said to have contributed the most or positively influenced the fight against COVID-19.
This selection is based on objective criteria, according to field work that has helped Yoheda to appreciate personal engagement, activism, and impacts of their actions to stop the spread of the pandemic. The underlying objective is to commend the will and personal effort to contribute to save lives while making sure to steer clear of any political consideration. As a result everyone is free to put forth their own appraisal as well as recommendations to enhance the initiative. We are therefore expecting your observations. Essentially, all constructive criticism is welcome. Please bear in mind that this list is not exhaustive. It is just an attempt to appreciate efforts and especially those who have fought, taking risks to protect the population.
1st Dr MANAOUDA Malachie
Influence, engagement: With regard to this criteria, the Minister of Public Health has really been exceptional. “Malachou” or “Malacur” as he is affectuously called in light of the current context stands out as the COVID 19 “Man”. While it is still relatively early to determine how well or badly, efficiently, properly or not, he has been able to handle the pandemic, in line with our assessment criteria, he is well placed and has shown a lot of engagement and effort to fight against the pandemic. Since the 5th of March (when the first case was diagnosed in Cameroon) the media, Internet users, the population and decision makers have relied on his statements on social and mainstream media, news or tweets, as well as debates, memos, decisions, and relevant stakeholder meetings. Many could not expect more.
2nd Bishop KLEDA, of Douala
Bishop Samuel KLEDA, Metropolitan archbishop of Douala, wore his hat of Physiotherapist, going beyond preaching the good news to alleviate the suffering of patients. He has been one of the most active Cameroonians on the field, stepping up as a main actor against COVID 19. While seeking for solutions, he has shown that people are looking very far for what is just around them, like the truth of gospel; since there is green diamond in Africa. Without sophisticated batteries and laboratories, Bishop Samuel KLEDA has thought us invaluable lessons that we should humbly accept and treasure; within few months he developed an affordable plants-based solution “Elixir covid” and “adsak” that has treated and saved over 3000 souls! He has demonstrated without trumpets and drums that we can do a lot by ourselves, like the President of Madagascar; he has proven that Africa can try, but we need to trust ourselves, using our abundant resources.
3rd Dr Hubert NDJINGA DJINGA
This is the man who took the lead! Everybody remembers that the first case in Cameroon was notified on the 05th of March 2020, but many do not know who confirmed the first case. Dr Hubert NDJINGA DJINGA is the Physician that diagnosed the first case of COVID-19 and maybe without this initial diagnosis, the pandemic would have spread faster and taken the country by surprise. As a good professional, as a good clinician, he discovered the first case and after diagnosing, even without means, he engaged himself into the fight, advising and treating. By our standards, he deserves official appreciation.
4th Olive ATANGANA
Olive ATANGANA is a blogger Journalist who is passionate about and has specialized in Public health. Through her Blog lurgentiste.com, she has been doing a lot to raise awareness about Health problems. Many of her statements on Radio and Television have been aimed at improving the management of our health system. She is really engaged in the fight against COVID-19, has presented many articles on the pandemic, indicating aspects that could be improved. It is honest to recognize that her criticism has generally been for the purpose of contributing to the improvement of strategies for the good of the Program. We appreciate those serious contributions as a demonstration of concern and engagement.
5th. Pr. Eugene SOBNGWI
Member of the Academy of Sciences and working in the General Hospital as medical Adviser, Pr. Eugene SOBNGWI has also played a huge role as Coordinator of the first COVID 19 Centre and member of the COVID 19 scientific council. He has equally contributed with other members of the scientific team and medical staff to get patients completely healed and to implement PEC protocols. He has been involved in sensitization and adoption of efficient practices against the pandemic.
6th. Pr. John NKENGASONG
Pr. John NKENGASONG has been the first Director of CDC Africa since November 2016. His main aim was to position CDC Africa as an African Institution funded by African countries to improve monitoring, adequate response and prevention of diseases. He is a great virologist with about 30 years of professional experience in Public Health. He has contributed in the development and implementation of strategies in Africa in general and in Cameroon in particular for response to epidemics and reinforcement of various capacities in Public Health Centers.
7th Pr. Anne NJOM NLEND
She is the Director of Centre Hospitalier d’Essos. She got involved in the fight against COVID-19 in that important Health facility and showed serious engagement in the early phase when the fear of the epidemic was at its peak, inspiring mostly panic than awareness. She personally got engaged in the fight, acting on social media and where ever possible to convince those who still had doubts about the epidemic; promoting emergency response measures. She also organized relay of information, writing many articles on the incidence of COVID 19 on children and mothers for a better protection policy.
8th NOURANE FOSTER
This young lady who is also a parliamentarian has been personally involved in the fight against the pandemic since the danger was announced. She acted in line with the official national response plan. She has contributed actively to the launch of ‘’train de la solidarite covid 237’’ in universities, sport activities to sensitize the population against COVID 19 in the West Region; she contributed to fundraisers to fight against the pandemic. NOURANE Foster also offered crucial material to fight against the pandemic in schools and populations in markets and encouraged the plan ‘’solidarite covid -19 237’’ while participating actively raising awareness through social media. Yoheda is happy to encourage her as a good example, an active woman, and a devoted citizen.
9th FOMENA Fernandez
What really matters in what we do is not only our duty, but also the way we do it, with concern. FOMENA Fernandez is among those who really played a key role as a personal fighter when the war was declared against COVID 19 and when everybody was scared of the word coronavirus. He entered to the war as an Engineer but worked as a soldier for his country. He started as part of the team of Centre of operations on Public Health Emergencies (COUSP) at first, then moved to the Team of Interventions and fast Intervention(EIIR) as expert of WASH.
FOMENA Fernandez was in charge of ensuring the individual protection of members of the EIIR team along with the control of individual equipment for protection (EPI) with regard to crucial steps such as the disinfection of sites and management of waste. He was part of the team in charge of the disinfection of planes, passengers and luggage. As a frontline soldier, standing when everybody was afraid of the killer, he was part of those in charge of the burial of infected corpses. He did all his best with the central team when the situation was really hot before returning to the Adamawa Public Health Regional Delegation where he is continuing the fight against the pandemic. Yoheda offered him a medal for dedication and engagement to save lives.
10th. MANY OTHER HEROES
We couldn’t list all exceptional contributors in the fight against COVID-19 in Cameroon. The Head of State, the government, these may not be all the best individuals, enterprises, organisations that put in their best efforts to overcome this killer disease. Moreover, we place Health personnel at the top of those who have offered the most; we put a special Yoheda medal on the grave of those who offered the ultimate sacrifice in this war to save others; Intervention teams, the Rapid Investigation team, EIIR, COUSP… We list many (individuals, companies, etc) who stood out because they wanted to save lives and also demonstrated a spirit of citizenship, offering what they could as Samuel Eto’o, Nestle, Orca, Afriland First Bank, Yoheda, Survival initiative, Women in Global Health Cameroon, Tous contre le Coronavirus, Plan Cameroon, MSF, Amicale CA2D5, Bloggers of ABC, Tsieli Land and Elites of different Regions and localities (South, West, Far North…). Of course, there is still a lot to be done. COVID 19 is still among us but the fight is also ongoing and we are determined to overcome the pandemic.
By Hemes NKWA for yohedahealthsolutions.com