Some journalists have since January 23, 2017 been assessing the level of preparedness for any eventual outbreak.
The 2014 Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa lasted more than two years, affecting over 28,000 people and killing at least 11,300 others. Though Cameroon was not affected, health authorities and stakeholders have put in place measures to prevent any transmission of the deadly virus as well as respond to any outbreak. This more so as the country is one of 15 nations in Africa at great risk of transmitting the virus.
It is in this light that the South Regional Delegate of Communication, Liliane Florence Bobe and her counterpart of Public Health, have since Monday, January 23, 2017, organised a four-day trip for local journalists to assess the achievements and challenges of the Ebola prevention and management project. The project is an initiative of the Ministry of Public Health with its partners, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation. The Ebola virus prevention and management project covering seven regions is funded by the US Agency for International Development, USAID, under “Emergent Pandemic Threats.”
Monday’s start of the press trip entailed meetings with stakeholders in the regional capital, Ebolowa, during which the journalists listened to explanations on what has been achieved so far and the challenges encountered. Experts say Cameroon presents two major risks of Ebola contamination, notably transmission of the virus from wild animals to man. This is because Cameroon has the same ecology as Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which both have bats, known to be natural hosts of the virus. Bats transmit the virus after contacts with the blood, secretions or biological liquids of infected, sick or dead chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, antelopes and porcupines.
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