By Neville Mesumbe
BUEA, Cameroon- The 14 cars donated by the World Health Organisation, WHO, to the Regional Delegation of Public Health in Yaounde, have sparked controversies on social media.
According to WHO, the vehicles are meant to reinforce the response capacity in regards to the COVID-19 emergency in the Centre Region, the area with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Reacting to this move on different social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, some Cameroonians have condemned the move and described it as a waste of resources.
According to Serge Ghomsi, “Cameroon needs test kits, respirators, masks to fight COVID-19, not luxury vehicles.”
Another individual, Gabie Paty, said: “Why cars, instead of medicine or useful equipment that would benefit the people? The WHO aims to improve the public’s health, but for this action, we need to understand how 14 cars will lower the mortality/transmission rate of COVID-19 in Cameroon.”
Meanwhile, Lionel Mbanda preferred that ambulances would have been donated, especially in remote regions, or for all Regional Hospitals, rather than concentrating all resources on Yaounde, when the vulnerable population in other areas is living by God’s mercy when it comes to fighting the pandemic.
Lilian Ndangam said: “Cameroon needs critical healthcare infrastructure and staff to help fight this pandemic and other existing health challenges, not cars for bureaucrats. This gesture does nothing but feeds corruption.” Such criticisms intensified when Cameroonians realised that Ghana, another West African country that is affected by the pandemic, had purchased more than 200 ambulances to assist in emergency transportation of COVID-19 patients to isolation centres in the nation. “Does the government of Cameroon care for her citizens the same way the mother hen protects her chicks at the sight of danger? “Why should they accept luxurious vehicles from WHO, and reject testing kits from Maurice Kamto?” these are a sample of the unanswered questions Cameroonians are asking.