By DOH JAMES SONKEY
Inhabitants of towns in the country will soon benefit from the health largesse of Cameroon’s First Lady and UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs Chantal Biya following a convention signed last March 13, 2019 in the cabinet of the Minister of Housing and Urban Development in Yaounde to facilitate the implementation of the programme for the fight against sexually transmissible infection-HIV/AIDS in educative and social milieus.
Minister Celestine Ketcha Courtes signed the convention on behalf of her ministry while the Social Vaccine Programme Coordinator, Jaji Mbah Rose Ateng signed for the programme at a solemn ceremony witnessed by Secretary of State to the Minister in charge of Housing, Marie Rose Dibong and Secretary General of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.
Speaking at the occasion, Minister Celestine Ketcha Courtes stressed that without healthy citizens it would be difficult for Cameroon to emerge by 2035 thus, the timely intervention of Cameroon’s First Lady through the Social Vaccine Programme.
Paying tribute to the First Lady for her commitment in assisting vulnerable persons, Minister Ketcha Courtes underscored that this social gesture has been one of the most remarkable works in the past decades in Cameroon.
On how come the ministry is intervening on social issues, the Minister clarified that “the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is not only in charge of infrastructures because our mission also consists of participating in the prevention of social problems and the insertion of suffering youths in urban milieus. In fact urban milieus are fertile grounds for social scourge such as drug addiction, alcoholism, sexually transmissible diseases and HIV/AIDS.“
The Urban Development boss underlined that “it is with enthusiasm and honour that my ministry is receiving this collaboration offer from the Social Vaccine Programme of the First Lady so that we can participate in the conception of tools to serve in the sensitization of youths and urban population in general on the dangers of this social scourge.”
In a chat with reporters, the Social Vaccine Programme Coordinator, Jaji Mbah Rose Ateng explained that “ the Social Vaccine Programme of Cameroon’s First Lady, Mrs Chantal Biya is a three component one focused on primary prevention,(at the level where sensitization on prevention mechanisms are given out to people who are not yet infected so that they remain free from the pandemic), secondary prevention (when those infected still remain healthy and are not aware of their status. But once this category of people is discovered they are handed over to partners of the Social Vaccine Programme like the Chantal Biya International Reference Centre for the Prevention and Research on HIV/AIDS where they are being taken charge of, so that, their infection remain at the docile stage and they don’t develop the illness.) And finally, the tertiary stage of prevention concern those already infected and signs of manifestation observed on them. Such people are assisted, given expertise advice and followed up so that they do not die of HIV/AIDS because our First Lady does not want any citizen to die of this pandemic.”