Cameroon has received a donation worth 200,000 doses of one of China’s COVID-19 vaccines developed by the Chinese firm Sinopharm. The donation in the form of vaccines comes to concretise a promise made by the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, to make the vaccine a public good especially to developing countries.
The first consignment that arrived Cameroon’s International Airport Nsimalen, Sunday April 11, 2021, was received by Prime Minister, Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute, barely few days after Public Health Minister, Manaouda Malachie signed a statement announcing its arrival.
The vaccines that are a donation from the Chinese government has allowed the country to finally begin its vaccination campaign on April 12, after a first miss, thus, a means to tighten diplomatic affiliation between both countries.
The 200,000 doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine has led to the launching of the first phase of a vaccination plan that will be administered in two injections to 100,000 people.
According to Cameroon’s Head of Government, the gifts are a symbol of the long-lasting friendship that exist between China and Cameroon. “This gift which is a testimony of our good relations with China. We know that this vaccine is used in at least 60 countries already and we will note that China itself is in need of this vaccine. So, to have sent 200,000 vaccines to us is a sign of friendship.”
He went further to urge all health stakeholders who happen to be at the centre stage of this ravaging health crisis to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Thus, Cameroon counts more than 500 vaccination centers set up nationwide. Going by the guidelines of the vaccination plan, the vaccines will be dispatched and administered as soon as they arrive. Which plan indicates that health workers, the elderly with pre-existing health problems, public transport drivers and teachers as the main target.
“… I would like to say that the Minister of Public Health will organise as from today the dispatching of this to the entire territory. The priority is first to the health personnel, nurses, doctors. They are the ones who are taking care of us and they should be given priority to be vaccinated so that they can take care of us.”
“As far as I am concerned, I am prepared to take this vaccine anytime because the health professionals have told us that, that is the best way to end this pandemic which is in our country for over a year now,” PM Dion Ngute stated while reassuring the Cameroonian people of his willingness to get vaccinated as well.
The country was expecting 1.7 million doses of this vaccine back in March 20 thanks to the Covax mechanism, a global initiative aimed at guaranteeing access to vaccines for developing countries. But the authorities had to revise their plan because of the adverse effects observed in people who had been vaccinated in the Western part of the globe.
According to figures updated as of April 8, Cameroon had 61,731 confirmed cases for 56,926 recoveries and 919 deaths. 3886 cases are active, of which 114 are under oxygen, in a nation that harbours approximately 26 million people given that, it is one of the most affected countries in Africa.