In the same life-force of the campaign, a cross section of staff from Bafoussam Baptist Health Centre, diabetic and hypertensive patients and the general public were involved in a Health Walk through a distance of 20km from the Bafoussam Baptist Health Centre, through ‘Premier Carrefour ‘where a stop was made to raise awareness on Non Communicable Diseases, then through the Boulevard, Sekem, quatier Hausa and back to the Health center. During the Walk, a megaphone was used to raise awareness, invite the public to screen for NCDs, in English, French and Fufulde. Leaflets carrying NCD-related material-messages on prevention, healthy NCD-free life-styles and advocacy were also distributed.
Opinions of participants and passers-by were sampled:
So many are ignorant of NCDs and also are trapped by misconceptions and cultural beliefs that is a threat to the growing burden of NCDs in Cameroon. Mispa Penda the D&H unit Head for A man on the street, said he is filled with the ‘holy spirit’ and no diseases can penetrate his body, so he doesn’t need to do any screening.
Dimla Brenda a newly diagnosed Hypertension and pre- diabetic patient for a year now, called on the CBC Health Services to subsidize/make medications for persons living with NCDs (PLWNCDs) free of charge, to help patients stay on treatment. “Sometimes I don’t continue with my treatment due to lack of money to refill my medication, every month, I expect contributions of 10 to 15 thousand francs from my siblings to buy my medication which is unreliable.
‘The government should also organize campaigns like this to raise awareness in the community because so many people are perishing unknowingly due to NCDs and “I don’t like to see more people captured in my condition”. Said Boky Magdalene, a Diabetes patient/ D&H peer educator
It was a great opportunity for the Cameroon NCD Alliance as Coalition to counter tobacco (C3t), Value Health Africa (VAHA) and the CBC Health Services raised their Voices to call for an improved health system delivery putting NCDs at the center in Cameroon. Emphasizing that, without immediate and collective action, NCDs will continue to have a severe impact on individuals, communities and the country.