Isolation, Social Distancing & Quarantine are not new terms or practices in Cameroon and the world. They are public health practices in use for centuries now to stop or limit the spread of diseases.
While isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy by restricting movement; including those within your home;
Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease in order to see if they become ill. It is often used to prevent those who may have been exposed but do not have a confirmed medical diagnosis from spreading the disease further.
These measures all work together to limit the spread of communicable diseases with the intention to eventually eradicate it through preventive and treatment measures in which those confirmed to be infected are isolated from the healthy population.
Social distancing on the other is a prevention mechanism applied to avoid/decrease contact between those who are infected with a disease and those who are not, so as to stop/reduce the rate and degree of transmission.
What therefore gives way for so much panic and anxiety attack is the feeling of inadequate or no reactions geared towards the eradication of a life-threatening plague. More so, inadequate information provokes worry, distress and fear, leading to unnecessary questioning and subsequent resistance to measures intended to make things better.
In accordance with caution from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other competent bodies, the Government of Cameroon has imposed procedures to fight against the recent global pandemic (COVID – 19). Aside the preventive measures announced; the government continues to encourage citizens to stay indoors while exercising enough responsibility in reporting suspected cases as fast as possible via the toll free number 1510 put in place by the Minister of Public Health Dr. Manaouda Malachie.
It is ok to stay in isolation as a way to reduce the spread of COVID – 19. However, how do we;
- Get food supplies?
- Ensure the availability of basic needs like water to maintain healthy hygiene practices?
- Transport suspected cases to hospitals or treatment centres for isolation and treatment?
- Get medical supplies for illnesses not related to COVID-19?
- Get genuine information and updates on latest developments in Cameroon?
- Decipher authentic information from rumors?
- Get indiscriminate access to health care?
- Get tested and results known faster/efficiently?
- Replenish basic needs?
- Trust everything will be fine?
It is high time the government imposes a strict lock down; putting all measure in place to ensure positive response. However, the following among other things should be put in place to facilitate the process:
- Military personal to enforce the lock down
- Ambulance in every quarter to facilitate transportation of suspected & confirmed cases
- Adequate medical facilities to accommodate, isolate & treat infected cases
- Mobile health clinics for extreme emergencies
- Mobile food supply trucks
- Test kits in all qualified health care facilities
- Sensitization and information conveyance platforms
- Transportation facilities and camps for healthcare workers
- Emergency transportation means to carry people from one area to the other
- Subsidize on basic necessities to carter for low income earners
- Cheap or free internet connection to facilitate information transmission & work-from-home
- Encourage tech-supported services
- Disinfectant spray kits to keep the atmosphere clean and virus free.
- Movement timetables
These may seem very difficult to do but the truth remains that if all the measures are put in place and the necessary support systems developed, we will be out of this pandemic before we know it. We must start from somewhere and head forward while baring in mind that these measures are not meant to kill us.
There is so much we can do in isolation. Don’t let this situation run you down and out.
Stay safe; stay strong.
Feel free to make your opinion heard on the comment section.