DWB administering First Aid treatment to injured accident victims at Banga Bakundu
On Thursday, September 2, we were heading to Kumba, Meme Divisional Headquarters in Cameroon’s Southwest Region. We travelled hitch-free until we arrived at Banga Bakundu, located between Kumba and Muyuka. Our Vehicle had a head-on collision with a motorbike, an accident that left the bike rider’s leg dislocated and the female passenger injured.
Immediately after the accident, just beside the entrance into the market at Banga Bakundu, the population started shouting: “Call Doctors Without Borders! Call Doctors Without Borders!”
I did not hear anyone calling on the Muyuka District Hospital or Kumba District Hospital or the military to come and take the injured persons to the hospital.
These hospitals are just kilometres away from the scene of the incident. Even the military control post was just metres away.
The accident occurred at exactly 9.05am. As people struggled for means to transport the injured, DWB arrived just five minutes after, with three ambulances.
They started treatment immediately upon arrival. They did not ask what happened, who was injured, nor asked any fee for a consultation. Had it been it was one of the local hospitals, they would be demanding a police report or consultation fees, among other things.
After administering first aid treatment, DWB took the victims to the hospital where they will still go and pay for their hospital bills, and also pay hospital workers taking care of the patients. Besides that, they equally distributed their contact number to the population to call in case of an accident or an illness.
Had it been DWB were not there, by now, the injured will be suffering while cracking heads on how to pay the medical bills.
Two weeks ago, The Post published a story about a taxi driver in Buea who was shot by Separatist fighters for operating on a ghost town day. The story was told of how the military got there and instead called DWB who came and took care of the driver.
Despite this good work DWB is doing, the Government of Cameroon banned them from operating in the Northwest Region. The Government did so on claims that the international medical humanitarian NGO was too close to Separatist fighters in that Region.
Looking at the case of the bike rider whose leg was fractured in an accident but DWB could treat on time, imagine thousands of such cases happening in the Northwest Region.
The crisis has rendered many in the Northwest vulnerable; medical facilities have been affected. Those in the interior have been deprived of health facilities because of the senseless conflict.
But DWB was able to access the interior. What will become of these people now that the Government has banned their activities, especially for those in hospitals like Bamenda, Kumbo, Ndop? What has become of their medical bills?
The Post recently reported how a certain politician had taken advantage of the situation and paid bills of patients at Bamenda Regional Hospital, just to use it for his political ambitions. The people were projected on the media for their inability to pay bills – something which DWB would do with much respect for the patients’ integrity.
When you listen to DWB’s statistics on the people they have treated, and those who have paid their bills, you would see more reasons why the Government must reverse the ban on DWB.
In the Southwest Region alone, DWB’s budget stands at FCFA 3.6 billion for this year. Imagine if a similar amount was also budgeted for the Northwest aimed at restoring people’s health. But the Government has banned them.
If the ban is not lifted, that is how the Government will continue to deprive the Northwest population of free medical treatment. However, those in power may not care because their children or family members have the luxury of affording medical treatment even in foreign hospitals.
It is said that health is wealth. Since the Government has deprived the Region of good roads, other infrastructure, why deny them health which is their wealth?
Assistant Desk Editor