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How Do You Assess Health Policies In Cameroon, Following Gov’t’s Reaction To The Cholera Epidemic 

Compiled by Lydie Yuri, Paul Udoh*, Marie Solange Moki*, Eulalia Amabo* (UB Journalism Students on Internship) & Rose Tang*, Siantou University Journalism Student on Internship)

It simply portrays that government’s health policy is not firm. The government has to ensure that the people live in a clean environment, provide good drinking water and ensure that people dig good toilets that are not very close to their houses. Government should provide a medical team that carry out regular inspections, in all the Regions, to prevent the cholera epidemic and other preventable diseases.
Beryl Akeambom, Teacher

Government Should Improve On Hygiene And Sanitation 
There is no hygiene and sanitation; certainly as a result of poor toilet systems; no potable water in the North. Given the topography of the North, which is a plateau; it therefore allows dirt to settle in the water due to poor drainages and the faeces being kept around. To solve the problem, the government should improve first on the hygiene and sanitary conditions and provide good drinking water.
 Alfred Tembi, Pastor, Buea

Government Tolerates Poor Sanitary Habits
The cholera crisis is a recurrent situation at the advent of every new season and any government with a vision should be able to put in place a mechanism to pre-empt such occurrence. The attitude of the government in tolerating habits that allow this to occur can’t be neglected. Providing housing permits without latrines only alter the catastrophe
Vitalis Nji Mufor, Teacher

Insufficient Sanitary Check-Ups
The cholera epidemic sounds as a warning to us, it can equally spread to other Regions. Therefore, we should engage in more hygienic conditions, sanitations and more potable water. The government should in embark on hygiene and sanitation every Region. Officials should move around villages to ensure the provision of potable water and toilets on a monthly basis. To further reduce the epidemic, the public should be educated on the preventive methods.
Ojong Arrey, Buea

Government Should Provide Potable Water
It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the population has clean sources of water and good latrines. If these facilities are absent, it simply means that the government is not taking actions that can prevent other outbreaks of cholera.
Christine Tchouamatcha

Unfavourable Environmental Conditions
If those people had good and favourable environmental conditions, the cholera would not have affected them in this manner. The lack of good water was the cause of the cholera outbreak. If their living conditions can be improved upon, then, the cholera can be eradicated.
Ferdinand Bille, Treasurer, Buea

Health Policy Inefficient
There is laxity in government health policy. It is government’s duty to provide sanitary agents to check the conditions of toilets and ensure that those without good toilets be sanctioned. Most people from the Far North still drink water from wells because government has not provided adequate water sources. It is, therefore, clear that the government is not doing its job.  
Primus Nkwain Ngong

Government Should Treat Water From River Benue
Government should provide properly treated pipe-borne water from the River Benue. It seems many people in the North depend on well water which in most cases is not good enough. In this case, the government should act fast to prevent further damages. The first thing they should do is to ensure that they have good water. It will, however, take some time but the actions should be as fast as possible because lives have gone.
Lydia Ebah, UB Lecturer

Let The Money Be Used Appropriately
To me, this is a very good idea for government to give assistance to the victims of cholera in the North because, health is life and people need to be healthy to carry on with their activities. But let the money be used for the purpose for which it is intended.
Chrysanthus Tebo, TV and AC Repairer, Bamenda

Gov’t Is Not Pro-active
The cholera outbreak shows that the Cameroon government is not pro-active, that is, if a community is pro-active, it takes measures before things can happen so that, when the things finally happen, the effects will not be great. The delay by government to act often causes additional expenditures, time and resources. This is a clear indication that the health policy of the country is not preventive.
Fedji Gallus, Technician, CRTV Buea

It Is A Good Initiative
Well it is a good initiative, at least, it is the right of the people that when in difficulties, the government should come to their aid. With the FCFA 200 million given to the cholera victims, it will help them to buy drugs and reduce the death rate in the North.
Christopher Noubissi, Businessman
 Where Was The Money Before?

What the government did was good but at the wrong time because they are saving lives, whereas, they would have provided good drinking water and good hygienic conditions to the people, in order to save their lives rather than allowed them to be infected before intervening. Where was the money before?
Mathew Bedtad, Bamenda

Funds Might Not Reach Victims
It depends on what the FCFA 200 million is meant for, because, if you look at it critically, the money might end up not reaching the victims. But if it was 200 million worth of drugs, then, I would be very convinced that it will be a wonderful idea. But if they are giving the money to be distributed to the victims, then I am not convinced that it is the best thing to do. Whatever the case, it is a good gesture.
Valentine Nke Yong, Bamenda

People Should Be Sensitised On Hygiene And Sanitation
The allocation of the money for the cholera victims is a good initiative; if and only if it won’t be misappropriated, Cameroon remains Cameroon and, giving the money is not the most important thing, the people need to be sensitised on hygiene and sanitation. We have noticed that these people are adamant to change because they are not willing to take medical advice.You will realise that most of their toilets are close to their homes and to the streams which are sources of drinking water. We must start at that level to caution them and tell them what to do else, the 200 million will be of no use.
Mirabel Tansi Wamba, Bamenda

Giving 200 Million To Cholera Victims Is Wastage
Well I do not think the culture of doing things right only when there is a problem is a good culture. The government is fond of intervening in health situations only when things are critical. If you followed the documentary over CRTV concerning this cholera case, you would understand that just a minimal percentage of the people in the North have latrines. Many of them defecate outside their compounds and in drinking water sources.

So, I think in order to make the people live under better health conditions and better health policies, government should rather provide basic amenities like latrines and good medical facilities. By giving 200 million to cholera victims to some level is wastage; they are "selling after the market."
Donald Afuhnghang, Teacher, CCAST Bambili
Government Is Negligent

For about a month now, we have been hearing of the cholera outbreak in the North and I think it is due to negligence on the path of the Ministry of Public Health. The Ministry is aware of some of the things which can prevent the spread of the disease, which if it was well implemented, would not have resulted to the massive loss of lives. Therefore, if they are duty conscious, they should take their responsibilities whole heartedly to remedy this situation for now.
Terence Nyoh Ewinjiah, Teacher, Buea

Setting Up Sanitary Sectors
So far, the government is doing a tremendous job, but I think individuals have to change their mentality towards health. Some people live almost without toilets. Toilets have to be up to the standards of the 21st Century. Cholera is spreading in the North because of poor hygienic conditions of the inhabitants. I think the government has the responsibility to provide some basic amenities for the people in the North such as potable water and good sanitary conditions.

In the days of Southern Cameroons, we used to have sanitary sectors but now we don’t have them. People just do anything they like, build houses anywhere. It should be the government’s policy to set up sanitary sectors and good water. Good health policy can eradicate cholera anywhere in the world and mostly in Cameroon. 
Barrister Eta Besong Jr, Bar Council President


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