Indellible Presidential Marks

Cameroon and the world at large have been subjected to multifaceted miseries orchestrated by coronavirus which has pushed everyone to make adjustments in their daily operations. But as Cameroonians stagger in the confusion imposed by the deadly global pandemic, they would logically bear one thing in mind that they have not been left alone in the dilemma! In his legendary discrete governance style but shrewd actions, President Paul Biya has proven incessantly that he is a veritable father of the nation. He wouldn’t climb trees or mountains to blow trumpets of his actions, but his concern for his fellow compatriots is loud and clear for anyone to ignore. In effect, the Head of State’s attentiveness has been felt in almost all sectors of national life suffering under the weight of the despicable Covid-19 pandemic.

Some weeks back, he instructed wide-ranging measures to cushion the effects of the pandemic stretching from tax-holidays to support for hardest-hit sectors. His gifts of hygienic products are already being used in all parts of the country. Even just last week, the Head of State gave 170,000 face masks for distribution in schools across the country. The latest sectors to attract the wellknown executive alertness is the medical corps that has fought tooth and nail from when the first cases of the pandemic were uncovered in the country to care for the victims. President Paul Biya’s multidimensional gifts to the health personal, dished out on June 12, 2020 by Territorial Administration Minister, Paul Atanga Nji are, to say the least, galvanising. These men and women battle day and night; sometimes under not-so-good conditions, to save lives. And when such efforts are even multiplied in the face of a pandemic as contagious as Covid-19, there is every reason to protect the caregivers.

The health personnel risk their lives; sometimes paying the supreme price, to ensure that all and sundry get the indispensable medical assistance. They have thus far shown the will but we all know that the will alone is not enough in the face of a challenging ailment like Covid-19. The gifts therefore had a double connotation: To protect the health personnel and reassure them that they are important, their efforts are appreciated and they constitute part of the pillars of nation-building. Obviously so as any achievement in life is based on priceless health.

Friday’s Presidential gesture to the health personnel was a follow up to the hefty praises Mr Biya heaped on them during his address to the nation on May 19, 2020. He hailed the courage of Cameroonian health professionals and those assisting them who have demonstrated utmost availability in using the sometimes scarce and not-up-to- date resources available to treat those affected with the disease. “Indeed, they are not giving up in the face of the gravity of Covid-19 infection. The Nation, through men, congratulates and urges them to keep it up,” President Paul Biya said on May 19, 2020. Dishing out protective gadgets to the health personnel was therefore timely. They, like the defence and security forces, have proven that adversity notwithstanding, life is irreplaceable and all efforts must be put in to save what still can. As those who matter join the Head of State in saluting the bravery of the health personnel thus far, it goes without saying that the country’s health sector absolutely needs attention. The current pandemic, as bad as it is, could just and must even serve as a turning point. Beefing up the infrastructure and technical platforms of the hospitals is an imperative. The health personnel have shown proof of the will and availability to save lives, but they cannot do so with their bare hands. They can’t produce the best of themselves when left to work under appalling conditions. Shielding them from getting contaminated with the virus is as good as improving their working conditions. A combination of these would give a better mindset that can propel sometimes even the laziest of workers to strive for excellence that we all need.



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