This article was originally published on www.orderofmalta.int.
The Emergency Medical Team (EMT) of Malteser International deployed in Cameroon a few days ago in order to support the health authorities in dealing with the rising numbers of Covid 19 infections in the country, was greeted on Monday by Cameroon’s Prime Minister, Joseph Dio Ngute, and the Minister of Health, Malachie Manaouda.
During the meeting, attended also by the Order of Malta’s Ambassador to Cameroon, Jean-Christophe Heidsieck, the EU Ambassador and representatives of the World Health Organization and of other health institutions, Malteser International’s coronavirus response was discussed and EMT’s team of experts was thanked for the commitment.
EMTs are teams of health professionals certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) to treat patients needing medical care following disasters, disease outbreaks, and other emergencies. The Order of Malta’s international relief agency’s team deployed to Cameroon is a six-strong team of doctors, anaesthesiologists and experts from the fields of water, sanitation, hygiene and logistics. This is Malteser International’s first mission since it received the WHO classification in 2018.
“Acting in coordination with the World Health Organization, our Emergency Medical Team is deployed in Douala, Cameroon’s largest city. We will assist and provide training to medical staff of three hospitals in the city. Our goal is to ensure that healthcare workers do not become infected themselves and that medical facilities remain free of infection” said Oliver Hochedez, Malteser International’s Emergency Response Coordinator.
The team was deployed to Cameroon last week after the country requested international assistance to control the rapid spread of Covid 19. Cameroon has one of Africa’s highest infection rates with more than 12,000 cases and over 300 people reported dead.
With the exacerbation of Boko Haram attacks in the north, a violent conflict in the English-speaking west, and a Central African refugee crisis, Cameroon is facing three separate emergencies. For the second year running, the country is first on the list of the most neglected crisis in the world. The Covid 19 pandemic is compounding these crises and adding more suffering to already vulnerable populations. The spike in new Covid 19 infections has prompted the national government to request international support from the WHO.