Barrister Kemende Henry Gamsey, Senator of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) party for the North West constituency has in an emotional letter captured the worries of the people of his native Balikumbat in Ngoketunjia Division of Cameroon’s North West Region.
“The over twenty thousand people in the village do not have access to medical care after the medication centre was transformed into a military barrack over five months ago,” the people’s representative writes in a tear-provoking note.
Senator Kemende in one of his questions directed to the Minister of Public Health asked: “Concerning the Balikumbat Hospital in the Ngoketunjia Division of the North West region, which premises has been transformed into a barrack, what is your ministry doing to either reestablish that medical facility or transfer same elsewhere for the health personnel to return in order that the local population can have access to health facilities?”
Doctors and nurses have escaped to safer towns and villages since the military invaded the hospital on September 27th 2018.
“I could not continue working there because my life was at risk. We took the oath to save lives, but the government forces will attack and intimidate us for treating ambazonian fighters. I couldn’t stay there any longer. Most of my colleagues left weeks after for their safety… ” a nurse from Balikumbat who is now seeking refuge in Bamenda tells Mimi Mefo info.
Calls for the government to come to the people’s aid have been fruitless. Locals testify that the lone clinic in the village was also attacked.
“The population of this locality are suffering because there’s no hospital. People are dying because there’s no hospital and I am pleading on you on behalf of the suffering population of BALIKUMBAT to let the world know about this.
The lone private clinic in Balikumbat was also damaged by this same military. And all the doctors and nurses have escaped for their safety and some of the nurses who were natives of Balikumbat were helping the pregnant women,” a resident recounted to Mimi Mefo Info.
Pregnant women now give birth in homes or in bushes with very slim chances of survival.
The sick do not have access to medical care.
The government has maintained sealed lips as it is yet to explain to Cameroonians why a hospital meant to serve the people, became a military barrack.
Since the start of the socio-political crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, dozens of public health services have either been attacked or forced to close down as health care workers flee to safety.
The SDF Senator of the North West constituency, has asked to know how many of the affected public health services have been rehabilitated and made functional.
Mimi Mefo Info