Heavily pregnant women at the verge of giving birth and nursing mothers in Cameroon have been shivering from the trauma emergent from news that, the BCG vaccine, one of the first vaccines administered to children after birth to prevent tuberculosis is not available in Cameroon.
This news has left many parents worried, as tuberculosis is an air borne disease which usually affects the lungs. Asongafac Emilia, a parent of two says, “It is unheard of and very risky. I think the Government is joking with the lives of babies because this is a vaccine which is to be available at all times and at all costs.” The Minister of Public Health, Andre Mama Fouda has called on nursing mothers in Cameroon to be cautious and not expose their children to bacteria which transmit tuberculosis.
This warning which is contained in a release signed this December 6, 2017 further states that Cameroon is out of supplies of the BCG vaccine, the vaccine that protects young children against tuberculosis. The Public Health Minister explained that the situation experienced this December 2017 is due to a blockage of orders in the international supply chain for the vaccines. Minister Andre Mama Fouda, however, reassures Cameroonians that the vaccine will soon be available in all health facilities.
The Health Minister’s ranting has mirrored the usual cavalier approach to governance in Cameroon. The tendency is always to wait for flames to attain petrifying dimension just so that fire brigade can be brought in to show that work is going on and government expresses concern about the plight of its citizens. Such a very important issue that relates to lives cannot be the object of after-thought approach to it procurement. The vaccines are supposed to be stocked permanently and not on a seasonal basis.
By *Atemebeh Ngewung Lordfred