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 University of Bamenda (UBa) alongside the Northwest Regional Delegations of Secondary and Basic Education have taken commitment to continue fostering inclusion in the educational system. Prof. Mbiffi Richard, representative of the Vice Chancellor of UBa, NW Regional Delegate of Secondary Education, Mr. Ngwang Roland and his counterpart of Basic Education, Mr. Wilfred Ndong documented their commitments on behalf of their institutions through the formalization of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the CBC Health Services on May 26, 2020 at the Baptist Center Nkwen, Bamenda
Signing on behalf of the CBC Health Services (CBCHS), the Director, Prof. Tih Pius Muffih who presided over the formalization ceremony commended the educational stakeholders for promoting inclusive education in the region. The Director of Health Services (DHS) noted that this MoU is the second one signed with fruitful results given that there is an increased enrollment of students in the University and many successful graduates with disability. Prof. Tih, on a hopeful note, urged all the parties to continue investing efforts in ensuring that learners with impairments study alongside their peers without impairment in their institutions.
In an interview with the media, Prof. Mbiffi Richard highlighted that the doors of UBa are open for all students with disability. He emphasized that the partnership is coming to reinforce their commitment in ensuring that inclusion remains a reality in UBa.
For his part, the Delegate of Secondary Education underlined that the CBC Health Services is assisting in doing what the government is supposed to be doing. He recounted that many of his teachers have been trained on inclusive education, thanks to the CBCHS. On this premise, he said, the government is willing and ready to collaborate with the CBCHS, reason why all hands will be put on deck to ensure that the MoU is appropriately implemented.
The Delegate of Basic Education, Mr. Ndong Wilfred used the opportunity to inform parents to take advantage of the efforts by the CBCHS and the government by sending their children with disability to school so as to benefit from inclusion, which his delegation is already implementing given that majority of his staff have been capacitated on inclusive education.
The objective of the MoU, which runs for 3 years (2020 to 2022), is intended to strengthen the educational system in order to promote inclusive education. Article 3 of the partnership states that all parties shall thus be committed to work together to achieve outcomes consistent with the objectives of UBa, the Delegations of Basic and Secondary Education and the SEEPD Program. The CBC Health Services shall carry out its own responsibilities, thanks to funding from CBM AusAid.
The signing of the MoU by the education stakeholders is an indication that access to education for learners with disabilities will be enhanced in the days ahead. Meantime, many educational stakeholders have continued to hail the CBCHS for standing tall in promoting inclusive education.