The withdrawal is attributed to restrictions occasioned by COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, as well as the inadequacies in equipment and personnel.
“The current COVID-19 pandemic has imposed significant challenges for all, populations, states and humanitarian actors, globally as well as in Cameroon,” read a statement attributed to Albert Viñas, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency coordinator for Cameroon. “Because of COVID-19-related travel restrictions, Doctors without Borders lacks specialized and experienced staff and equipment needed to ensure that we can maintain the optimal quality of our medical activities in some places around the world.”
MSF says it had to make the difficult decision to temporarily suspend their activities in Mamfe, in South-West Cameroon, until the end of July. “This decision is temporary and will be evaluated in the light of new developments.”
As at June 12, the international medical humanitarian organization suspended her ambulance service in Mamfe. It went on to withdraw MSF medical staff from the Mamfe regional hospital.
“But we will continue to support community health workers, and cover the hospital fees for patients they refer until the end of July. Doctors Without Borders' other medical projects in the North-West, South-West, Far North and in Yaoundé are not disrupted and continue, and we are committed to ensure that vulnerable and isolated communities continue to have access to free and quality healthcare as much as possible,” said Viñas.
“We will do our utmost to continue having a presence in the Mamfe area and will re-evaluate the situation over the coming weeks.”
Viñas adds that for any questions and media request, their Field communication officer, Ms. Antoinette Buinda should be contacted on 664123564/673528979.
“Continuing our medical activities in these areas already marked by massive health needs is an absolute priority for MSF,” Viñas said in April. “The current COVID-19 outbreak must not overshadow the dire humanitarian situation in the Far North, North West and South West regions. But the spread of the new coronavirus means, of course, that we had to adapt our projects, maintain essential lifesaving activities and set up new interventions.”