As the global pandemic continue to wreck lives, SHUMAS is at the frontline line of COVID-19 interventions to combat the pandemic through an aggressive sensitization and the provision of hygiene and sanitation kits to vulnerable and crisis afflicted victims of the socio-political crisis in the Anglophone regions of the country currently residing in farm huts, bushes and hard to reach areas.
Mainstreaming COVID-19 preventive measures into SHUMAS’ activities was/is an immediate action put in place by the organization both at the office and field level to join global actions in the fight against the pandemic. Immediately the corona virus pandemic was reported in Cameroon, SHUMAS instantly engaged into an emergency response plan to decipher measures of intervention to curb the spread of the disease especially from reaching the vulnerable population.
Preventive measures were put in place both at the office and field levels to ensure staff remains safe as well as the people we serve. As a rapid response to mitigate the spread of the virus, SHUMAS in her humanitarian outreach laid more emphasis in assisting people residing in enclave areas with little or no access to proper medical health care facility.
At the office level SHUMAS was able to have;
- A Covid-19 focal person appointed to coordinate COVID-19 activities
- A Covid-19 team made up of the Health and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) departments was immediately put in place.
- General disinfection of the entire office and the setting up of a hand washing station and the distribution of hand sanitizers to all office staff.
- All staff trained on the production of hand sanitizers
- The respect of preventive measures effectively implemented (social distancing, wearing of face mask and frequent hand washing).
In the field, SHUMAS has equally responded to the immediate needs of the vulnerable population:
- SHUMAS has sensitized 55.000 people in rural communities in the North West region
- Carried out a rapid need assessment on COVID-19 awareness for 1547 persons in the North West, West and Littoral regions of the country
- Hand washing stations installed at all the food distribution points as well as in community popular spots
- Buckets and soap distributed to 1000 vulnerable House-holds
As the fight continues, SHUMAS intend to continue in her massive sensitization of the local population on the pandemic as well as the provision of WASH kits. In a bid to meet our objective, SHUMAS is advocating for partnerships to be able to reach out the targeted communities, especially communities, with little or no access to information, health facilities and the crisis affected population of the socio-political Crisis.
The Strategic Humanitarian Services (SHUMAS) in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) donate food assistance to crisis victims of the ongoing social political crisis in Bui and Donga Mantung Divisions of the Northwest (NW) Region of Cameroon.
The socio-political insurgency in the Anglophone regions has resulted to mass destruction of livelihoods and farm lands. Consequently, chronic malnutrition remains a public health concern; with children under 5 suffering from stunting. The high malnutrition rate is primarily attributed to limited consumption of nutritious food plus limited access to clean water, sanitation and health services. Therefore, with the current challenges, achieving Zero Hunger and eradicating malnutrition as stipulated by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG#2) is a far-fetched reality.
SHUMAS in partnership with World Food Programme (WFP) provided 499.676 metric tons of food (Rice, beans, oil and salt) per month to 45.000 vulnerable IDPs and hosts in Jakiri, Kumbo, Ndu, Nkambe, and Mesaje Sub-divisions of the North West region. Super cereals were also provided to 2,667 children (0-23 months), pregnant and lactating women. This exercise has been going on for the last 6 months and may continue for the next 9 months.
According to some beneficiaries who preferred anonymity, they expressed their gratitude to God, SHUMAS and WFP for assisting them with variety of food items to sustain their families especially in this time of need. The assistance indeed they claim is very significant.
With a well-grounded project team, SHUMAS has been very active and spontaneous to respond to the food need of the helpless population amidst the socio-political crisis in line with the strict respect of the COVID-19 preventive measures (social distancing, frequent washing of hands and wearing of face masks)
NB: This intervention was carried out before the COVID-19 pandemic
Without any relent in efforts to assist crisis-affected victims of the socio-political crisis hitting the North West region of Cameroon, SHUMAS reached out to 3500 children (6-59 months) and 1200 pregnant women by providing them with vitamin supplements (Vitamin A, and multivitamin) and Albendazole for a period of 1 month. A project fully implemented by Strategic Humanitarian Services (SHUMAS) in partnership with Vitamin Angels-UK.
The nutrition intervention stratified according to different age groups targeted 5 health districts in the North West region precisely Batibo (Terendem), Ndop ( Mbefru, Kieshie), Wum (Fungom), Nkambe ( Binka and Mesaje) and Kumbo East (Jakiri –Nkah, Nkuv) a far to reach area accommodated by mostly Internal Displaced Persons.
- Provision of vitamin A (100.000IU) to vulnerable children 6-11months in 5 health districts.
- Provision of Vitamin A (200.000IU) to vulnerable children 12-59 months in 5 health districts.
- Provision of multivitamin supplement to 1200 pregnant women in 5 health district.
For a successful and effective intervention, 4 SHUMAS staff received E-learning (electronic learning) training on community education, eligibility criteria, administration of vitamins, administration of deworming medication, record keeping and visual checklist.
20 community health workers received training on how to administer vitamins and deworming and are effectively working in their communities.
This rapid intervention has improved on the health status of vulnerable persons residing in the bush, and forest settlement who have been deprived of proper health care due to the destruction of health care facilities since the onset of the crisis.
SHUMAS celebrates her 23rd anniversary this month in grand humanitarian style by reaching out to 1000IDPs in the North West Region of Cameroon.
SHUMAS turns 23 years today 21st April 2020. Thanks to her partnership with the BSFA-UK, and her many supporters in the UK, SHUMAS reach out to 1000IDPs living in forest, bushes and agricultural farmlands as well as some vulnerable IDPs living in appalling conditions in some neighbourhood in the city of Bamenda.
Assistance consisted of;
- Non-food Items (NFIs), matrasses, mosquito nets (LLINs)
- Wash kits (buckets, soap, cups, jerry cans, aqua taps etc.)
- Training of community health workers from community base disease surveillance using smartphones
- Consultation and treatment of children, 0-5years from malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia
- Provision of intermittent preventive treatment ( Fansidar for malaria prevention and multivitamin to pregnant women
- Provision of vitamin supplementation and de-worming medication to children of 6 -59 months
- Screening f children 6-59months for malnutrition using MUAC taps for malnutrition.
- Sensitization of vulnerable communities on the causes, signs, symptoms and prevention of COVID -19 through practical demonstration of hand washing, provision of aforementioned wash kits.
- Training, counselling and provision of 3 weeks’ birds, wheelbarrows, fowl feed, feeders, drinkers and vegetable seeds to empower in self-reliant income-generating activities.
At 22, SHUMAS will continue to render service to mankind!!!
SHUMAS and partners (United Nations Development Program – UNDP and Japanese Government) reach out to 700 vulnerable Internally Displaced Persons (fishermen and women fish processors) involved in crude,risky and unproductive subsisting fish farming in Mbefru Island, Ngoketungia subdivision by assisting them with sustainable fishing and fish processing materials.
Mbefru island since the start of the socio political crisis in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon has been and is still a safe haven for some IDPs affected by the crisis in the North West region (https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/december-2018-march-2019/crisis-worsens-cameroon). With fish farming as the main economic activity of the island, fishermen and fish processors in Mbefru were faced with the following problems: the use of wooden canoes for fishing which endangered life, poor fishing techniques, no fish conservation material, unsustainable fishing nets, poor fish processing and low output.
In a bid to curb these challenges, SHUMAS and UNDP through the sponsorship of the Japanese Government on November 24, 2019 assisted 48 fishermen and 52 women by providing them with 20 solid wooden canoes, 100 life jackets, 49 plastic containers for transporting fish, 200 fishing nets, 60 baskets, and 4 chokor ovens to process fish.
The project aimed at promoting sustainable fishing and improving on the qualitative and quantitative fish production while promoting social cohesion between IDPs and hosts residing in the island.
It is worth mentioning that before implementing the project, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between SHUMAS and UNDP among other organizations under the auspices of the Japanese Ambassador to Cameroon. SHUMAS was the lone organization in the North West region to have received support from the Japanese government for the early recovery social cohesion project.
The project was implemented using a community based approach by working in synergy with the beneficiaries to complement actions for greater impact. Consequently, the technical capacity of 100 fish farmers on sustainable fishing, processing and marketing was greatly improved, social cohesion enhanced and the provision of sustainable fishing facilities provided to 100 fish farmers.
SHUMAS was lauded for the successful implementation of the project. The Japanese ambassador expressed satisfaction and promised future cooperation between SHUMAS and the Japanese government.
The mass destruction of hospitals/health Care facilities and the unprecedented death of persons due to lack of proper medication within the context of the socio political crisis in Anglophone regions of Cameroon has resulted to the forceful migration of persons to other communities, in search of medical assistance. These host communities on the other hand, suffer from the lack of medical/health care facilities as well as the lack of medical equipment to adequately carter for the health needs of the mass population.
SHUMAS and partner, under the humanitarian response program, provided and equipped health centers in communities hosting IDPs. Contributing to good health and well-being (SDG #3), SHUMAS and partner in her 2019 projects, decided to support some localities with infrastructures, equipment and the training of some health personnel to help the dying masses.
The 2019 achievements under the health department were;
Construction and equipment of health centers.
The Ntaache health center – Bamendankwe, Akumlam Integrated Health Centre – Mankon, and the Bani Baloum Integrated Health Centre in the West region received support from SHUMAS. These health facilities received new buildings with admission wards, Doctor’s office / Examination room, Consultation room, Labor room, Delivery room, Laboratory, Pharmacy and toilet block with hand washing facilities. Material equipment comprising of delivery beds, examination beds, ward beds with mattresses and pillows, side cupboards, drip stands, microscope, autoclave, chairs, table and benches.
20 communities have benefited from the Spreading Health scholarship program. 05 of which graduated as qualified State Register Nurses and have started serving their communities. An additional 6 vulnerable nursing students were selected in 2019 to begin the three-year training course.
These infrastructures will provide health care to some 9750 persons including IDPs residing in these communities thereby achieving SDG # 3. The productivity of the health Centers are upgraded.
Pupils who hitherto were studying in very appalling situations (dilapidated classrooms with perforated roofs, exposed toilets, broken floors and ceilings) almost close to extinction are now benefitting from modern and appealing classrooms.
SHUMAS and partners BSFA (Building Schools for Africa) have constructed and equipped 16 classrooms in communities hosting IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in order to de-congest the already over populated schools.
Thanks to SHUMAS and partner (BSFA), GBPS Sodiko; Government School Bamendou; St Peter and Paul Catholic Nursery and Primary Batoke, Limbe; Djeugo Catholic School St Bathelemy; Government Primary School Kom Yembetta, and Government Primary School Bake have all benefited from the 2019 largesse of SHUMAS with the provision of 144 benches, 6 toilet blocks with hand washing facilities, 17 teacher’s tables and chairs, stores and secretariats, handed over to the aforementioned schools.
The learning achievements of these schools have greatly improved with an increase in academic performance. School enrollment has also increased. With the SHUMAS education program, quality education is guaranteed.
The high influx of Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) into Nkwen-Bamenda and Sodiko – Douala 4 communities resulted to acute shortage of water, water pressure, low sanitation and high prevalence of water borne diseases. Consequently, inhabitants in these communities trek for miles in search of clean water for family consumption. To this effect, SHUMAS within the framework of her humanitarian emergency response provided clean portable water to these rural communities hosting IDPs.
SHUMAS in 2019 provided water by gravity to the population of Nkwen Upper Futru community-Bamenda with the Construction of 1 new water catchment, 6 stand taps, a 15m3 water tank, 2700m pipeline, and the training of water management committee with 344 households as direct beneficiaries. Also, the Sodiko Community in Douala also benefited a borehole to relief them from their water plight with the Construction of a borehole, a tank stands, 2 taps, installed an electric water pump, 10000 liter tank, 2 taps provided and the training of water management community.
Also, in other related water and sanitation issues, SHUMAS constructed 6 schools and 3 health institutions with toilet blocks and hand washing facilities plus waste collection materials. These institutions include: GBPS Sodiko, Government Primary School Bamendou, St Peter and Paul Catholic Nursery and Primary Batoke, Limbe, Catholic School St Bathelemy of Djeugo, Government Primary School Kom Yembetta, and Government Primary School Bake. Health facilities benefitted from sanitation equipment and structures (SDG#6), e.g. the Ntaache Integrated health center – Bamendankwe, Akumlam Integrated Health Centre – Mankon, Bani Baloum Integrated Health Centre.
As achievements for 2019, SHUMAS under the water and sanitation program abetted 2 communities, 6 academic institutions and 3 medical facilities. In spite projects implemented so far, the future remains bright as SHUMAS continues to spread its tentacles to communities in grave need of water for their well being, thereby promoting access to clean water and well being (SDG# 6).