Give Value to the Gift

A gift is worth nothing if it is neither appreciated nor used the way the giver intended.  The FCFA two billion worth of anti-COVID-19 material offered by the Head of State and which has immediately been dispatched to the regions for onward distribution to the population in the 360 subdivisions of the country has received a medley of nationwide appreciation. And so, as the saying goes, the taste of the pudding is now in the eating.  The 70 heavy-duty trucks that left Yaounde Tuesday, April 28, 2020 must have all arrived at the headquarters of the ten regions of the country. The gift, it should be recalled, is made up of 50,000 cartons of soap containing four million tablets, 1.5 million protective facemasks, 50,000 surgical masks for hospital staff, 75,000 kitchen buckets, 40,000 hand washing mini drums each with a capacity of 30 litres, rapid screening kits and hospital respiratory equipment among others.  From every indication, this package can help change things for the better in the whole gamut of the fight against the monster virus.
But the impact of what the President has given can only be felt if the material is used appropriately. The biggest challenge is not in receiving the gift but in making good use of it.  This hurdle that cuts through the whole chain starting from the Regional Governors who signed out the package from the hands of the Minister of Territorial Administration and stretching to the Senior Divisional Officers and Divisional Officers will ensure the material finally reaches the target population. As the administration readies the package for the population, it is important to note that a greater majority of the population for which it is destined continue to live as if nothing is at stake.  The 13 measures streamlined by government in response to the virus spread are yet to be effectively integrated in the daily life of the population.  It suffices for one to get out there to see how negligible people can be. Some behave as if the preventive measures are meant for others. You will find drinking spots closed at the regulated time; 6pm, but its customers will create space elsewhere to continue drinking to stupor. 
Considering that many Cameroonians have remained glued to COVID-19 friendly attitudes, it may be necessary to calve out a strategy to ensure that the material to be shared to them will be effectively used the way it should. How far is one sure that the soap to be shared out will not serve for other things rather than prioritising the washing of hands and face masks? Many complain that the face mask is suffocating and uncomfortable to wear. How then will it be possible to ensure that the masks to be handed them are effectively used?  These and many more questions must be asked and answers provided ahead of the effective distribution of the precious gift.  This has to be done as a matter of emergency because COVID-19 has put all Cameroonians in an emergency ward.    



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