Cameroon, being one of the countries hit by COVID19 has surprisingly contained the virus with relative ease and composure. Even though of recent, what is now known as the second wave of COVID-19 seems to be sweeping through schools in Cameroon’s economic capital of Douala. The consequences of this pandemic are still glaring in Cameroon. The manner in which Cameroon has sailed through the deadly pandemic is very encouraging. From the early implementation of lockdown measures to relaxation of those measures, Cameroon seems to have understood the tempo of the pandemic and is adapting to it so swiftly.
While narrowly escaping from the clutches of COVID-19, Cameroon stakeholders deemed it necessary to adopt the strategies used to fight COVID-19 to beat HIV and AIDS in a meeting held in Yaoundé. During the November 17 meeting presided over by Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health, Dr. Malouda Malachi, marked the kickoff of the month of HIV testing. According to the minister, Cameroon has been ranked one of the best countries that has implemented good strategies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the reason why the west African nation has a 94% recovery rate.
The ceremony, animated by meetings aimed at coming up with good strategies to ensure adolescents as well as children and those in the vulnerable group do not get infected by HIV. Three presentations were made in respect to the recommendations made during the last stationary meeting. At the end of the presentations, recommendations made were: reducing HIV infections especially amongst girls between the ages of 15-25, improving the supply system for patients care inputs, retention in the care of people living with HIV in the context of Covid19 and the continuation of the exemption policy of payment charges for patients.
According to reports from UNAIDS, about 540000 persons were living with HIV in 2018, amongst them adults accounting for 3.6%, 18000 people died of AIDS related illness. About 74% of people living with HIV knew their status, 52% who knew their status were on treatment and only 24% of children aged 0-14 infected with HIV were on treatment.
The sprouting of COVID-19 does not necessarily mean other diseases and infections should be neglected. Cameroon is one of the countries in Africa facing a lot of problems; ranging from rising insecurity, internal conflict and a lot more.