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Church in Cameroon reduces spread of Coronavirus

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14 May 2020

Church helps to reduce the spread of Coronavirus in Cameroon.

At the outbreak of Covid-19,  the Cameroonian Government did all they could to stop  the virus from  entering into the country, but on the 6th of March 2020, the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Malachie Manaouda confirmed the first case. A French national who had arrived in the capital city of Yaoundé on the 24th February,was tested positive. Since then, the country has reported have other cases from international visitors, the Minister tweeted.

The Minister of Public Health, Dr. Malachie Manaouda, revealed on March 23 that 16 cases tested positive that morning, 9 were from Douala, 6 in Yaoundé, and one in Bafoussam

In April Cameroon had 730 cases, 10 died and 60 recovered. The number increases as days goes by.

To make matter worst, some of the travellers who entered the country with an international flight on the 17th March, and  who were quarantined, invited prostitutes in the hotel to spend some time with them. This incident created great panic in the country and the country is in great danger and panic. Jean Claude Tsila, Senior Divisional Officer for the Mfoundi said that the sex workers had smuggled their way into hotels to meet travellers who had been put on quarantine after arriving the country. “We have given firm instructions to security forces to carry out a mass arrest of sex workers in Yaoundé and hand them to health authorities to carry out some tests workers to test them of the COVID-19,” Jean Claude Tsila said.

With the widespread of Covid-19, everyone is conscious and preventive measures are put in place. The Churches, civil societies, organisations and the government are all contributing to halt the spread.

Based on the increasing number of cases these high statistic recorded every day in Cameroon, the Ebenezer Community United Methodist Church Cameroon (ECUMCC), one of the United Methodist (Parishes) Churches in Cameroon, carried out a sensitisation program in their community targeting four quartier, mostly Motorbike riders and petit traders (Buyam Sellam).

Our target was mostly motobike riders, market women and young people majority of whom don’t believe the existence of the virus. Clement Ayissi, one of the motorbike riders at quartier Eleveur told us, “It’s a Whiteman's sickness, such diseases doesn’t affect Africans”, he said. Despite the fact that the government has passed strict measures on social distancing, the amount of people still present in our local markets, streets is alarming. “If I stay at home the whole day, what will my children and I eat?” Mama Elondo Esther a market seller asked the ECUMCC Staff.

ECUMCC team focused on preventive measures. They took to the community, buckets, liquid soaps, gloves, and face mask to demonstrate how to wash hands and also put on their mask. The team also emphasis on physical social distancing.

Ndobe Ebeneza Mosima, Pastor of the Ebenezer Community United Methodist church who led the team to the demonstration site  said “we may not have the capacity to develop the #vaccine but we have the right to #kickOut the virus and reduce its negative impacts on our community.

He further reiterated that “our hope is not only to fight  Convid -19 through this initiative but also to cultivate new habits in our communities by influencing the adoption of #handwashing as lifestyle by all. The team distributed more than 2.000 gloves and 1.000 facemasks to the population to enable them protect themself as they go about their activities.

Miss Nyama Yvonne, youth president of the ECUMCC, advised and encouraged individuals with suspected signs of the virus who suspect they may be infected with Coronavirus to call the Ministry of Public Health authorities on this toll-free hotline by dialing 1510 to receive advice about steps to take.

The Church Project coordinator, Mrs Ajomuzu Collette Ndobe advised the population that it is everyone’s responsibility and role to prevent the spread of Covid 19. She also gave them these simple instructions and precautions to follow: and advise them to follow the simple  instructions
 1. Wash your hands
2. Touch not your face, eyes, mouth and noise
3. Avoid public gathering and overcrowded areas
4. Stay at home

5. To always wear gloves and a mask when going out doors. 

To celebrate Easter, ECUMCC had a food pantry in which they shared food and clothes to those in need.  Pastor Ndobe advised them to pray hard, drawing his scripture from 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.

Collette Ndobe is a communicator for the United Methodist Women Association Cameroon and project coordinator of Ebenezer Community United Methodist Church Cameroon. The church website is www.ecumcc.org