The international humanitarian NGO known as ORBIS International is making another stop in Cameroon from the 5th October 2017 to the 7th November 2017. This was made known during a press conference organized by the Minister of Public Health; Andre MAMA FOUDA at the conference hall of his ministry on Wednesday 4th October 2017. According to information given by the Minister, ORBIS International is visiting Cameroon on the invitation of the Cameroon leader, Paul Biya and their focus is on eye treatment. ORBIS International is therefore expected to land in Cameroon at the Nsimaleng International Airport on the Thursday, October 5th, 2017 with their Flying Eye Hospital.
It should be noted that ORBIS International is coming to Cameroon for its 3rd time. Their first visit to Cameroon was on 1991 and they landed in the Douala International Airport. The second visit was in 2013 and they landed at the Yaoundé International Airport. In their last Mission in Cameroon in October 2013 in their three weeks stay in Cameroon their achievements were thus; 72 health personal were trained and 123 patients were under care according to the statistics given by the Minister of Public Health. In order to be more efficient this time around, ORBIS international has therefore expected to ; renovate and strengthen the technical platform of the Ophthalmology ward of the Yaounde Central Hospital, support in the construction and opening of the Magrabi ICO Cameroon Eye Institute at OBack in the Yaoundé neighborhourhood and also participate in the activities of the National Blindness Control Programme. The Yaounde; Nsimaleng International Airport, the Yaounde Central Hospital and the Magrabi ICO Cameroon Eye Institute at Oback are therefore the only sites where ORBIS missions will be stationed in their stay in Cameroon. The Minister said in their stay in the named sites, they are expected to provide a hand- on training to eye care professionals in order to help them update their skills with recent techniques in eye treatment.
The experts from ORBIS International are expected to train 2 professionals each in cataract surgery and strabismus and ophthalmopaediatry, 4 professionals each in glaucoma and oculoplasty, 6 professionals in retina pathologies, 22 professionals in refraction, orthopsy and 18 professionals in paediatric anaesthesia, 8 professionals in theatre management of eye surgery and 12 biomedical personnel in maintenance of ophthalmic equipment. The altogether 78 learners will be expected to come from the second and third category hospitals and will be expected to learn and apply during the treatment of the 235 patients previously selected.
In order to give them a conducive and fruitful stay in Cameroon, the government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to; Welcome, park and provide security for the plane for the next one month, exempt them from taxes in the importation of equipment and drugs associated to the mission, select learners and take care of them during the mission and also contribute to the management of the pre-selected patients.
However, it is disturbing why the government will exempt taxes from an organization that is coming though in an invitation but would not be working for free? Another question may be the parameters that were used to select the 235 patients from the over two hundred thousand people virtually impaired and about six hundred thousand people with decreased vision.
The expectations are therefore for those selected to be given adequate treatment and those trained should be able to distribute their skills to take care of the masses with eye problems. Though with the intricacies that surround acquiring skills to use for treatment of delicate parts of the body like the eyes, one can ask how possible these learners will use one month to acquire skills that they can apply without causing damage.