by Fonban Emmanuel
The Minister of Social Affairs, Mrs Pauline Irene Nguene, on Tuesday 9, June 2020 launched a campaign on prevention, early detection and rehabilitation of disabilities. This took place at the Cardinal Paul Emile LEGER National Center for the Rehabilitation of Persons Living with Disabilities at the Etoug-Ebe neighbourhood in the presence of partners and collaborators of her ministry.
In her opening speech, Minister Pauline Irene expressed her gratitude to the Director of the Rehabilitation Center who opened his doors for the launching ceremony.
It is important to note that every year the Ministry of Social Affairs organizes this campaign to create awareness so as to make necessary commitments to curb disabilities in Cameroon.
“In Cameroon, the characteristics of disability are dependent on several factors, for instance, traffic accidents where thousands of cases are recorded each year. 6,321 in 2013 according to National Institute of Statistics” said the Minister in her opening speech.
The Minister further said other causes of disabilities could come from domestic accidents, accidents at job sites, accidents in sporting activities and others that can cause disabilities to victims.
Considering that this year’s edition of the campaign is coming when people living with disabilities are among those vulnerable to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, MINAS is considering sensitization and other measures to help those living with disabilities.
“This year, the context is different. We are launching this campaign this year within the context of COVID-19 which has placed persons living with disabilities at a higher risk. They can’t take measures easily like others. We have many of them who can’t access hand washing points in public places. Apart from sensitization, the Ministry has been giving support to structures that take care of these persons living with disabilities. Some of them are in confinement and can’t go out to do little jobs like they sometimes do” said Angelica Mundi, the Director at MINAS in Charge of Persons Living with Disabilities and the Old.
It should be noted that the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services was represented as a partner to the event and equally a strong partner to the Ministry of Social Affairs. Their involvement of CBC Health Services was therefore backed by the outstanding work they have been doing in Cameroon while giving special focus to issues relating to disabilities. Their efforts are renowned in prevention, education and rehabilitation.
“We were happy to be part of this launching of the campaign for the prevention of disabilities in Cameroon. CBC is doing a lot. We give out educational materials, education itself and we also give support in the area of rehabilitating people living with disabilities. We are working in nine of the ten regions of Cameroon, supporting the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs and others working in preventing Disabilities” said Prof Tih Pius, the Director of CBC Health Services.
Speaking to partners and collaborators at the launching, the Minister of Social Affairs said whether road accidents or illnesses, the most effective way to reduce the extent of this phenomenon lies in prevention. To Angelica Mundi, prevention can reduce significantly the number of cases of disabilities over time.
Before declaring open the campaign, the minister called on all actors and partners in the health, communication and social sectors to continue educate and sensitize the public to help in the prevention, early detection and rehabilitation of persons living with disabilities.