News / Africa

Hospitals Overflow as Malaria Spikes in Northern Cameroon

x
— The death toll from malaria in north Cameroon has risen to 2,500.  The minister of health says treated mosquito bed nets that are supposed to be distributed free are instead sold in hospitals or exported to neighboring countries.  Meanwhile, hospitals say they no longer have space for patients as the epidemic keeps growing.

Tanimou Maimouna cries in front of the Bon Secours clinic in Maroua as her 11-month old daughter dies from malarial complications.  Her family is just one among thousands who have lost loved ones since a malaria spike began in the far north in September.

Cameroon's Minister of Health Andre Mamma Fouda said the number of cases have spiraled.

He said 657,754 patients have been treated in local hospitals with more than 180,000 diagnosed with malaria.  He said 75 percent of those had simple malaria while the rest presented with serious or deadly complications.

The Health Ministry confirmed more than 2,600 people have died - many of them pregnant women and children.  But local newspapers reported a much higher death toll.

Minister Fouda said the government was responding rapidly to the growing demands being placed on local hospitals.

He said highly specialized equipment has been brought in to quickly diagnose suspected cases, and they have increased the supply of the latest anti-malaria drugs at highly subsidized rates. 

He said children under 5 years of age with uncomplicated cases of malaria were being treated for free.

The government also said it has intensified the free distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets.

But Suzan Birni, a nurse, said most facilities like the Pont Vert hospital in Maroua where she worked have not received the nets to distribute to pregnant women.

“For quite some time now there are no mosquito bed nets to distribute.  So when a woman delivers they just ask them [her] to go back without any bed net,” she said.

Newspaper reports accused some of the hospital staff of selling the bed nets in neighboring countries like Chad.

Nigerian-born Johnson Nnandi is a local market vendor who said that he bought and sold treated bed nets for about $10 to $15 each.

“At times we sell one for six thousand francs, at times seven thousand francs.  But when business is not going on well we sell for 5,000 francs," he said.

Back at the Pont Vert hospital in Maroua, the situation is getting desperate.

Mr. and Mrs. Abdoulaye Abbo have been receiving treatment outside in the courtyard as there is not space inside.  The couple and their baby are all suffering from malaria.

Despite the substandard conditions, they sid they appreciated the hospital staff for working hard to save lives.

He said he was the first to get malaria, then his wife, and now they were back at the hospital with their daughter.  He thought the malaria was the worst ever this year.

Malaria cases constitute the highest number of consultations in Cameroon’s hospitals, and the death rate from the disease stands at 28 percent.

Health officials in Cameroon blame the epidemic on the refusal of people to use treated mosquito bed nets, the fact that many people do not respect basic hygiene standards, the failure to clear outdoor standing water, and people who do not visit health facilities when they have early signs of malaria.

The World Health Organization warns that waiting six hours for treatment can mean death to a child sick with malaria.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid