5 Health Workers Infected With COVID-19 Daily In Cameroon, AfDB Loans Country 88 Million Euros To Fight The Disease

Within the first 100 days since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Cameroon, more than 500 health personnel have tested positive for COVID-19, which is an average of five infections daily. Of this number, 10 have died, the Ministry of Public Health, reported.

By the last figure declared by the Minister of Public Health Dr. Manaouda Malachie on June 25, 2020, Cameroon has recorded 12,592 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 10,100 successfully treated and discharged from hospital while 313 fatalities have occurred.

In a letter addressed to health workers at the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Cameroon dated June 23, the minister assured them that “The government under the leadership of the prime minister would ensure the amelioration of your working conditions until the end of this crisis.

“We will ensure the best protection of your security, your health as well as that of your respective families.”

He added: “the relentless work of your management team and your respective expertise have contributed towards consolidating the statistics thus permitting us to hope for the best situations which otherwise should have been fatal for our compatriots as well as our health system.

“That is eloquent proof that our scientists and our health professionals are of the best quality and merit being sufficiently congratulate.”

In a related development, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan of 88 million euros to finance the budgetary support programme in response to the COVID-19 crisis in Cameroon.

According to an announcement by the AfDB, the loan, already integrated into the rectified 2020 Cameroon budget, is within the bank’s COVID-19 rapid response mechanism, which is the institution’s main channel for the protection of African countries against the negative economic and sanitary impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The objective of the mechanism is to control the propagation of the coronavirus and save lives as well as attenuate the negative socio-economic effects within AfDB member states mostly on households and businesses. The programme also aims in the long term to reinforce the economy as a base for recovery, the organization stated.

The loan would also help in putting into place a sanitary intervention plan to ameliorate tests and ensure quick detection and a rapid management of the virus, thus reducing the number of deaths and improving the rate of recovery.

It would also support the most vulnerable by paying family allocations of workers in enterprises unable to pay their monthly social insurance contributions as well as distribute sanitary kits, the bank explained.

“The social protection actions and the economic resilience within the context of this support package would target mainly women as well as households and enterprises managed by them”, declared Solomane Kone, the Central African and Country Director for Cameroon of the AfDB.

“This budgetary support aims at maintaining economic activities and saving employment notably by reimbursing debts on value-added tax in order to strengthen the finances of enterprises as well as the purchase of inputs in support of strategic agricultural outlets such as poultry, fishery, seeds and cereals.

“It would also support small and medium-sized enterprises within the sectors of agro-industry, health and education,” Kone added.

According to the bank, this operation will mark the completion of the special urgency project of 13 million dollars for tmember countries of the Central African Economic and Monetary Commission (Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Central African Republic) and the Democratic Republic of Congo in their fight against COVID-19 approved early in June.

On April 8, AfDB announced the creation of a fund of 10 billion dollars to help member states and actors within the private sector in Africa to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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