LF, CBCHS put smiles on faces of CWDs at outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic
Over 200 children with disabilities from the West, Northwest, and Adamawa Regions have received COVID-19 emergency kits and food items worth 5 million fcfa donated by More
the Liliane Funds in collaboration with the CBC Health Services (CBCHS) through the Empowerment and Disability Inclusive Development Program (EDID) Program. This gesture was extended to 24 Partner Organizations (POs) of the EDID Program in Cameroon with the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Services of the CBCHS being a recipient as one of the POs. The distribution took place in Magba, Banso, Bamenda, Banyo, Nyamboya, Bafoussam, Fombot recently.
The CBR used the community stakeholders they work with in the different communities to preside over the distribution ceremony as a strategy to involve them and draw their attention to the needs of children with disabilities. According to the CBR Supervisor, Mr. Kenchi Joseph said, CBR is ensuring that sustainability measures are put in place by different structures in the community to corroborate the actions of the CBCHS. He explained that the beneficiaries of the items were consulted by the CBR field workers through a need assessment which informed them on the type of items each child needed, a way of ensuring that persons with disabilities actively participate in decision making, he reiterated.
At different distribution points, the stakeholders hailed CBCHS for always extending love and care to the minority population, especially during crises period. The Mayors of Magba and Fombot in the West Region noted that it is the responsibility of the Councils and Government to take care of the needs of children with disabilities, but often time, there are limited of resources. They can only collaborate with NGOs and Faith Based Organizations like the CBCHS to include the minority group who need greater attention, the Mayors insinuated.
The President of Association for Parents with Disabilities, Liliana Njema and President of Association for Persons with Disabilities in Magba said since the outbreak of the pandemic, it was the first time persons with disabilities in that area were receiving preventive kits. They expressed gratitude to LF and the CBCHS.
Cartidri Neris, a mother of a child with Cerebral Palsy explained that she lost her job after the pandemic and was not able to take care of the nutrition of her child as recommended by CBR field workers. Receiving food items that could boast the nutrition of her child, Rejoice, was a big relief to her. Like Neris, many parents of the beneficiaries shared the same story.
The items consisted of hand sanitizers, washing buckets, soap, face masks, first aid kits, garri, rice, corn, palm oil, groundnut, milk, and sugar amongst others ,
Mainstreaming Disability in Development: CBC Health Services moves from Service Provision to Strengthening Systems
The Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Health Services through her disability programs has renewed its resolve in improving the lot of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and promoting disability-inclusive development at all More
levels in Cameroon. This resolve was taken last February 14, 2020 during the launching of the 4th and 3rd Phase of the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) Program, and the Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project (CCP) respectively.
Mr. Awah Jacques Chirac, SEEPD Program Manager says the 4th Phase of the Program, which runs 2020-2022 entitled, “Enhancing Capacities and Participation of Persons with Disabilities: Building Communities for Everyone,” will contribute in improving the quality of life of PWDs.
“In this phase of the program, we will draw gains from previous phases and focus on promoting disability inclusion in practice in mainstream development. We will also step up accessibility to humanitarian and social services for PWDs,” he said.
For 3-years that SEEPD phase 4 will last, the following key results will serve as a measuring rod; ensure that local Councils are increasingly including people with disabilities in Council activities and development, improve access to inclusive health, education, ensure that Disabled People Organizations (DPOs) are leading advocacy efforts, and improve quality program implementation for PWDs at all levels.
According to Prof. Tih Pius Muffih, Director of Health Services, the SEEPD program saw the light of day in 2009 and has for over 10-years running made remarkable achievements in developing medical services to prevent, treat and rehabilitate disabilities, develop good practices in inclusive education, introduce an inclusive micro-finance for PWDs and marginalized groups and more importantly created safe spaces where PWDs can make their voices heard, thanks to support from her strategic partner, the Christian Blind Mission (CBM).
A survey carried out in 2014 showed that the Northwest Region alone has a disability burden of 10-percent (%) representing about 210,000 people with mild to severe disabilities. The situation has further worsened in the advent of the ongoing socio-political crisis rocking Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest Regions. Conjecturing from this burden in a single region, it is very clear that an organization like the CBC Health Services cannot singlehandedly shoulder the challenge of disabilities.
It is against this backdrop that the CBC Health Services via the SEEPD Phase 4 is shifting from service-provision to strengthening mainstream systems to adopt inclusion as a core part of their mandate.
Speaking at the launching of SEEPD Phase 4 and the Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project (CCCP) Phase 3, Mr. Fon Julius Niba, CBM Country Director said CBM is committed to improving the quality of life of PWDs in poorest communities of the world irrespective of race, gender or religious belief. He noted that the Socio-Economic Empowerment Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) program is the right platform par excellence for community-based inclusive development.
“Since 2009 this program received over five million euros (3,279,784,999 FCFA), thanks to which it has extended health services through outreach clinics to over 350,000 people in 300 villages in Cameroon’s Northwest Region,” he revealed. The 4th phase of the program being launched amounts to about a billion FCFA.
In line with the prevention of disabilities resulting from clubfoot, Dr. Ndasi Henry, CCCP Clinical Supervisor said the 3rd Phase of the Project will focus on reducing the incidence of mobility impairment caused by clubfoot as well as improve social inclusion. “We will in this phase work to ensure that the treatment of clubfoot is integrated into the public health system in Cameroon, canvas for the participation and uptake of services by families and communities as well as improve on the monitoring, control, and reporting of interventions undertaken in clubfoot clinics,” he said.
Dr. Ndasi equally revealed that they will leave nothing to chance in supporting clinics and medical institutions in the country to have their personnel trained on the Ponseti Technique in correcting clubfoot. The Ponseti technique, according to the Orthopedist, remains the cheapest, affordable and flexible method in treating clubfoot. “The method needs no special room, and takes only 3-weeks training for health personnel to effectively carry out the procedure,” assured Dr. Ndasi.
The program launching presented an opportunity for media partners from the print and audio-visual to be informed on the ideals of the CBC Health Services’ disability programs so that they will, in turn, use their airspaces and media vehicles to inform their audience on promoting disability-friendly world. By and large, mainstreaming disability in development ought to and should be everyone’s responsibility.
SEEPD Donates to SAJOCAH Bafut
On the sidelines of the launching of Phase 4 of the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) was a donation of braille items to the St. Joseph Children and Adult Home (SAJOCAH) Bafut. Sister Jick Geraldine, Head of Physiotherapy Unit at SAJOCAH received the gifts on behalf of her organization.
Handing over the braille items, Mr. Warri Denis, CBC Health Services Chief of Administration and Finance (CAF) thanked the donor, Barbara Johnson, a seasoned braille teacher, herself blind for thinking of those who are visually impaired in Cameroon. The CAF called on SAJOCAH to make judicious use of the donated items that included: 10 braille type writers and ribbons and 15 mobility canes.
Mr. Kenchi Joseph, CBR Supervisor while coordinating the brief program added that Barbara Johnson volunteered with the CBC Inclusive School and Braille Center Kumbo from 2015-2018. She did this donation to support learners with visual impairments in special centers in Kumbo, Bafut and Mbengwi.
The multipurpose Hall for the CBC Inclusive School and Sign Language Center (ISSLC) in Mbingo that has been in projection few years back will soon see the light of day in the months ahead. This project is being realized, thanks to funding from Wild Gansen Foundation in collaboration with the CBC Health Services.
During a planning meeting on March 22, 2019 at the Baptist Center Nkwen in Bamenda, the Coordinator of Services for Persons with Disability (SPD), Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac took the stakeholders on a retrospect to 2017 when reflections began on the change of orientation for the school to make it donor friendly. These reflections resulted to the transformation of the school from Integrated School for the Deaf to CBC Inclusive School and Sign Language Center (ISSLC).
Mr. Awa explained that “With this shift of orientation, the school will serve as a training center, thus, the need to acquire an infrastructure like a hall to be able to accommodate the services to be offered”. He said it was against this backdrop that a project was put up to Wild Gansen Foundation some years back explaining the need for the hall, which later materialized with the approval of funding for the construction of the hall.
During the meeting that brought together key stakeholders who are experts in the field and who will directly be involved in the implementation of the project, the implementation strategic plan of the project was reviewed with inputs and timeline from the stakeholders. Looking at the design of the hall which is described as an inclusive hall, the SPD Coordinator emphasized that quality must be maintained at all levels of construction. To ensure quality, stakeholders noted that inspection by the supervising team be carried out on regular basis.
According to the Administrator of Mbingo Baptist Hospital, Mr. Nji Richard, the project is a dream comes true given that it will be useful to the entire CBC Health Services and beyond. For his part, the Head Teacher of the school, Mr. Che Manaseh noted that the hall will help to foster inclusion in the school as learners with and without impairments will freely have space to carry out their inclusive activities together.
The CBC Health Services’ Administrator of the Technical Services Department (TSD), Mr. Ngam Joseph likened the CBC Health Services to a hunting dog that never gets tired of hunting. He added his voice to the previous speakers to commend the funders of the project, assuring the stakeholders that with his leadership at the TSD, work will commence immediately and effectively with good results recorded at the end.
Upon completion of the hall, it will be used for conferences, retreat, meetings, workshops, school activities just to name a few. The project is expected to be complemented and handed in 2019.
It should be noted that Truus Treep in the Netherlands whose passion for children with hearing impairments has been the brain behind the mobilization of funds for the project.