Shishong Hospital: insecurity a hindrance to health care
The number of patients seeking medical assistance at Shishong hospital in Bui division of the North West region is witnessing a decrease on a daily basis.
This is not because people are free from health problems but because of frequent cases of insecurity orchestrated bysoldiers and separatist fighters.
According to a health worker at Shishong hospital speaking on the basis of anonymity: “Two weeks ago, military men stormed the hospital threatening to pull out patients suspected to be ambazonia fighters. They even entered the theatre. All of us doctors, nurses and everyone was afraid most especially as they almost beat a nurse for reminding them that a hospital offers medical treatment to everyone without discrimination”.
Besides outright invasion into the hospital in search of wounded suspected separatist fighters, military/security shooting around hospital premises sometimes force patients to abandon treatment running to their homes for safety.
“Some of these patients say they prefer to die of natural illnesses than bullets from either the military or separatist fighters,” said a source.
Separatist activities have equally been pointed as a major hindrance to health care in the area.
According to our informant, “The boys impose ghost towns and lock down at will thereby prohibiting people and equally patients from moving to hospitals when they need medical attention”. He explains that on several occasions,patients and their relatives in the process of accompanying them to Shishong hospital on ghost town or lockdown days have been brutalized by the boys.
Lockdown and ghost town (dead days) in Bui division health workers say is equally responsible for the shortage of drugs sometimes as vehicles transporting medications are blocked from reaching the hospital. In a related development, some hospital workers find it pretty difficult to carry out their work effectively as they are targeted just like their relatives by unknown individuals.
Just as some patients do not have access to health care in the embattled Anglophone regions of Cameroon, insecurity has equally deprived kids from receiving vaccinations to prevent certain diseases.
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