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Orange Foundation Contributes In Combating Neglected Tropical Diseases 

By Lydie Yuri

CameroonPostline.com — Orange Foundation in partnership with Sightsavers recently donated four motorcycles to the Regional Delegation of Public Health in a bid to fight neglected tropical diseases in the Northwest Region. 

While addressing stakeholders at the Delegation of Public Health, the Regional Coordinator for Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTD, Control, Dr. Kingsley Che Soh, said neglected tropical diseases include; onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis and intestinal worms that have attracted the attention of the World Health Organisation, WHO. He said onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis and intestinal worms are endemic in the Northwest. He lauded the efforts of Orange Foundation and Sightsavers for the donation of the motorcycles to the project. 

Dr. Che, while thanking the donors, said the motorcycles would ease the mass distribution of mectizan and albendazole, which he said was ongoing in all communities of the Northwest Region. He said the motorcycles will enable the health team to facilitate the supervision of mass distribution. The medic recalled that the control of these diseases started in 2004 through the distribution of mectizan in some communities. According to him, it has been scaled up to include the distribution of albendazole for prevention of lymphatic filariasis.

On his part, the Secretary General of Orange Foundation in Cameroon, Samuel Eboua Ngondi, outlined the areas of  coverage of his organisation to include; social action in the African continent in areas of health, education and agriculture. Eboua said Sightsavers operates in 17 African countries and was active in Cameroon in 2009.

He said Sightsavers is out to promote professional training in areas that social conditions stands as obstacle, especially for the visually impaired, to construct latrines, provide drinking water to primary schools in Cameroon and free education for all. In areas of health, Sightsavers intervenes to improve quality of life of visually impaired persons and the fight against river blindness. The organisation also takes care of teenage mothers. Eboua recalled that his organisation was in Bamenda to donate latrines and potable water.

The project includes amongst others; donation of four motorcycles to be used in remote areas to fight onchocerciasis, get access to treatment centres, and a new general surgical microscope in the Northwest and Southwest Regions. The agreement was signed on May 5, 2012 to pool the efforts of Orange Foundation in the technical partnership programme as part of the implementation phase.

The representative of Sightsavers, Serge Akonvo, pleaded for effective partnership as per the convention signed, and that this ceremony was truly the fruits of the convention. Akonvo added that the motorcycles will serve essentially for a united supervision of the activities for the fight against onchocerciasis and cataract. He urged the public, private partnership, notably the Ministry of Public Health, Government and Orange institutions to ensure that the objectives are attained.

The Northwest Regional Delegate of Public Health, Dr. Victor Ndiforchu, on behalf of the Minister of Public Health, thanked the Foundation and promised to allocate the motorcycles to most needed areas. The Delegate appealed to the Foundation for the construction of more toilets and extension of its activities in the Region. He also appealed for an ultra-sound machine and finally called for continuous partnership with modifications to seek and gain direct partnership.

First published in The Post print edition No 01368