On the initiative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Cameroon (UNHCR) and implemented by its medical partner African Humanitarian Action (AHA) in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis Program, the campaign was taken place on 16 November 2018 in the Gado-Badzéré site, not far from Garoua-Boulaï.
The Eastern Region hosts thousands of Central African refugees settled in the camps where they have been supervised by UNHCR and its partners since 2012 (Ngarissongo by Yokadouma, Timangolo by Ketté, Guiwa- Yangamo by Ngoura etc). For this year 2018, there were 298 tuberculosis cases among this refugee population in the Eastern Region.
At the Gado- Badzéré site in the Garoua-Boulaï district, there are 25,226 refugees accommodated in 881 households. Here, tuberculosis is wreaking havoc for a variety of reasons. According to Dr. Rafika Ouakli, “the promiscuity, the lack of hygiene and sanitation and the prevailing poverty are at the origin of the spread of this disease in the most populous site of the East”.
The representative of the non-governmental organization AHA for Cameroon justifies the organization of an active tuberculosis screening campaign in Gado-Badzéré. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, along with its medical partner African Humanitarian Action and Cameroon’s National Tuberculosis Program, are working to combat this infectious and contagious disease.
More than 200 refugees were detected. And according to figures released, 30 Central African refugees suffer from tuberculosis. According to the permanent secretary of the national program for the fight against tuberculosis in Cameroon, the treatment is immediate.
“To prevent any spread of the disease in this community, we are making arrangements for the treatment to be initiated free of charge in their favor without delay. Special measures are being implemented to protect the rest of the community given that TB is highly contagious, “says Dr Mbassa Vincent.
In addition to screening, refugees have received useful information to prevent this dangerous disease. They have been captive to all these lessons learned. On behalf of the refugees, their spokesperson thanked all the sectors involved in this saving and humanitarian action.
Malisava Issa, in his capacity as Secretary General of the Central Committee of Central African Refugees in Garoua-Boulaï, expressed gratitude to the Cameroonian Government, UNHCR and its medical partner AHA for the Central African refugees in the area.
“We want this initiative to be continuous to save the lives of people already in distress and vulnerability,” he said.