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Health News of Monday, 25 April 2016

Source: cameroon-tribune.cm

Public Health emergencies: Yaoundé ready

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An unprecedented disaster management exercise was carried out at the Yaounde Multi-purpose Sports Complex at Carrefour Warda, on Saturday, April 23, 2016. Involving hundreds of civilians, medical personnel, the military and security forces, the scale of the public health emergency management maneouvre took many passersby by surprise.

With the street in front of the complex cordoned off and the ceaseless blaring of horns of several ambulances rushing the “wounded” to hospital, the scene was simply spectacular. The simulation came at the close of a workshop from April 11-23, 2016, on handling major public health or natural emergencies for Yaounde-based officials. It was organised by the Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with other ministries and the World Health Organisation, “Doctors Without Borders” and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Minister of Public Health, André Mama Fouda, who later visited simulation tents, noted Cameroon’s vulnerability to emergencies like floods, cholera outbreaks, polio virus resurgence and major accidents resulting in many deaths and injuries etc. The Minister disclosed that after a first training in the Far North Region from January 9-23, 2016, concluding with a disaster management maneouvre, President Paul Biya directed that a similar exercise be conducted in Yaounde.

According to the World Health Organisation Country Representative for Cameroon, Dr Jean-Baptiste Roungou, the aim of the simulation was to develop reflexes for handling disasters and ensure that various teams learn to work together.

The Yaounde simulation exercise consisted in a handball match between two female teams at the Warda Multi-purpose Sports Complex, which was interrupted by a short circuit accident that resulted in loud explosions in the indoor sports hall. Scores of spectators were injured, while several deaths were also recorded.

The emergency teams called in secured the site, identified, rushed the injured to hospital and evacuated corpses. Out in the courtyard, a tent was set up for offering First Aid to the injured before taking them to hospital.

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