The image of the Bamenda Regional hospital in the days ahead shall be better represented to the people the institution was created to serve. This is owed to an agreement between the Northwest chapter of the Cameroon Association of English-speaking Journalists (CAMASEJ) and the Bamenda regional hospital. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed July 20.
“The regional hospital remains the cheapest health institution in the region with a wide range of specialized doctors. Yet many of our essential services are little-known to the population. The regional hospital shall offer our CAMSEJ partner; free screening for chronic illnesses like hypertension and diabetes, counseling on preventable diseases, and psychosocial support on chronic illnesses. This occasion should usher all journalist into the realm of medical journalism -a domain which is a little more demanding than regular or routine journalism”. Said Dr Thomson Kinge Njie, Director of the hospital.
According to Dr Kinge, there is a great need to inform the public on the various health care services that the hospital offers. Like a dream come true, the MoU shall enable members of the Northwest chapter of CAMASEJ to comfortably be screened of terminal diseases and various ailments like, AIDS, diabetes, and hepatitis as well as have medical care from the Bamenda regional hospital on a 50%discount.
In turn CAMASEJ shall strive to give the various services and departments of the Bamenda regional hospital proper visibility and exposure to the public, bring the institution closer to the people, and engage in image building. Speaking on behalf of the association, its Chapter president, Rosaline Obah Akah stated emphatically that CAMASEJ shall hold the MoU very dear to its heart and shall strive to give a new and objective image of the hospital to its internal and external publics.
“At a time a majority of journalists in the region belong to the private press characterized by low salaries with many having to raise families, catering for themselves and providing their daily bread from the peanuts doled out at the end of the month or periodically by their employers, healthcare has remained a big challenge to many of us until today. This MoU shall boost membership in our association as many shall have a reason now to belong” said Obah.
Some CAMASEJ members like Pedmia Shatu and Primus Fongoh evaluated the importance of the MoU to their line of work “This is day break for us. When you are paid less for more work done. When you are caught up by poverty and work in an organization without a well-defined health insurance scheme, an agreement like this can be received with an embrace” The agreement has no date of expiry but can be modified by mutual consent of authorized officials of the hospital and CAMASEJ northwest.
Saving miserable CAMASEJ’s last breath
The signing, last week, of the MOU rekindled criticisms of the National Executive of the association which some journalists say has been a total mess under its current national president, Simon Lyonga.
The national executive has been under constant bashings lately for being indifferent to the plight of closed to ten English-speaking journalist held in detention. “We see what the Bamenda chapter is doing. That solidarity has always reigned in Bamenda even during elective assemblies, they determined the trends. Look, this is not a joke. Any inactive president should resign. I will continue to regret the day I cast my vote for Simon. I have written to him and the others severally. It is a total mess.” a member of the association said in reaction to the signing of the MOU by the Bamenda Chapter.
“The times now are tricky; any position from CAMASEJ now on the situation of the detainees may cause him (the national president) to be out of job- the big position might be taken away. My take is he should resign because his position(middle level management at the CRTV) now is incompatible with the aspirations of the association” another CAMASEJ member quipped.
While almost all journalists in a social media professional forum, Journalists of Integrity, took turns in condemning Lyonga, a few others elected to laud the Bamenda chapter for “saving CAMASEJ’s miserable last breath”