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Bamessing Village

Launching of the anti-HIV/AIDS project and mass voluntary counseling and testing

23rd May 2006

The technical team arrived Bamessing at 12:30 pm and was welcomed by a group of male dancers at the squares. This dance group led the team up to the entance of the hall where a large crowd from the Bamessing community was seated. 

CHV receives her certificate from the Fon
CHV receives her certificate from the Fon

The Mobile Technical Team which included Dr. Achu Ngang Paul – CEO of COPAAP, Mr. Tata Micheal – Province Chief of Local Response at PTG NWP, Dr Ngwa Shadrack – DMO for Ndop District Medical Service and Mr. Chi Juo Emalieus – Chief of the Government Health Centre in Bamessing were welcomed at the hall entrance by His Royal Highness the Fon, accompanied by the following elite: • The President of the Bamessing Cultural and Development Association (Nsei CUDA), Mrs. Anna CHENYI. • Secretary General of the Bamessing Traditional Council, Mr. CHENYI Joseph. • The Chairman of the Traditional Council, Mr. CHENYI Abel.


Mr. CHENYI Joseph welcomed the guests for sacrificing much of their time to come to the assistance of their community. He said the population was very eager to join in the fight against HIV/AIDS hence the massive turn out for the launching of the project and mass Voluntary Counselling and Testing.

Children attend project launch
Children attend the project launch
CHVs with certificates
Community health volunteers with their certificates

After the opening prayer was said by Mrs. Julie Yezeh, Mr. CHENYI Abel – Chairman of the traditional council, apologized for the absence of some of the villagers who had not been able to stay for the exercise. He assured the technical team of Bamessing hospitality and said their doors will always be left open to welcome them at any time in the fight against AIDS. He also thanked Dr. ACHU and his team for the brilliant steps taken to fight the HIV/AIDS Pandemic. He then paid tribute to PTG through Mr. TATA Michael for all the assistance PTG has been giving to both the infected and affected members of the Bamessing community. His welcome speech was followed by music from the Presbyterian Youth Choir Bamessing in a song which explained how HIV affects the immune system, citing the opportunistic infections that result. A second song explained how HIV is contracted. The songs ended in a request for the Almighty God to come to the help of the people of Bamessing and the youths and women all over the world.

Mrs. Anna CHENYI lauded the initiative and efforts of Dr. ACHU for all he has done in accepting to help the people of Bamessing, including responding to the request of Nsei CUDA to fight AIDS, training three executive members and ten community Health volunteers (CHVs) and reinforcing the capacity of the lab technician to be able to fight HIV/AIDS at all fronts. She also extended their gratitude to CARE Cameroon – Global Fund for providing the resources through COPAAP to them. While acknowledging the numerous activities and support provided by PTG, she expressed the feelings of the volunteers who promised to do all to curb the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Northwest Province, which stands at 13%, (higher than the national prevalence of 8.9%).

His Royal Highness the fon of Bamessing thanked Dr. ACHU for his initiative saying his people were very fortunate to have such a project in order to ensure the health of everyone in their village. He also thanked the Nsei CUDA for putting up and defending the project. He also lauded the PTG that had implanted and sponsored the LACCs to support the infected, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and affected in the past. 

Dr. ACHU, CEO of COPAAP thanked the fon for personally being present, which shows the interest he has for his people especially as regards their health. He also thanked Nsei CUDA for the sacrifices they have made to select some of their people to be trained as CHVs who had worked hard to have this project launched in their village today. Dr. ACHU thanked the DMO and the PTG coordinator for leaving behind other important duties to be present. He expressed hopes that they will collaborate to fight this pandemic and win the battle. He acknowledged the efforts of LACC and PTG which has helped people to know that HIV/AIDS exists and understand the importance of them knowing their status. He told the people of Bamessing that HIV/AIDS should be their first priority development project as there is no family which has not been affected. He stressed the importance of the launching of this project and the creation of a Solidarity Fund, which is intended to be a reserve to ensure the sustainability of the project and provide support to those who will be screened positive. Everybody was encouraged to put something into this fund. He then conducted the volunteers oath-taking exercise in the presence of the community. This public oath taking was a sign of commitment by the volunteers to their Bamessing Community. He read each phrase of the oath aloud and they repeated after him. Their certificates were blessed and handed to each of them by their fon amidst loud applause.

Dr. Ngwa, the DMO paid homage to His Royal Highness, Nsei CUDA and CEO of COPAAP for this important project. He said a lot has been done on sensitization but that in order to change the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS people must change their attitudes. This can only be done if they change  their sexual behaviours , avoid stigmatization and practice PMTCT . Dr. NGWA went further to inform the people of Bamessing that in the near future, the Ndop District Hospital will become a treatment unit. He congratulated the trained CHVs and encouraged them to help the people and to work together with Nsei CUDA to eradicate this pandemic by forming support groups, identifying orphans and vulnerable children and initiating income generating activities (IGA). He pleaded to the CHVs to be role models for others at all times.

Mr. TATA Michael, who was the personal representative of the coordinator of PTG, said that the goal of PTG is to see to it that someday this pandemic will be extinct. He asked everyone to take the courage to know their status. Although LACC has done a lot of sensitization and created awareness, behaviour change is the key which calls for everyone’s conscience and effort. Mr. TATA said if people could avoid risky behaviour, know their status early and live a positive life, then they would avoid getting into the AIDS phase. He reminded the people that HIV is not equal to death but It is now equal to hope, because now there is treatment. He reiterated on the importance of the Solidarity Fund and that the contributions can be made in kind and cash. Mr. TATA stated that the Bamessing has been fortunate to receive the highest support from PTG and PTG is still available to give them more support based on their activities. He ended by reemphasizing the importance of the Solidarity Fund which shows a mark of commitment on the part of the community.

The Chairman of Nsei CUDA thanked all the speakers and promised that his people will be committed to see this project succeed.

The launching then kicked off with financial contributions from the Fon (5.000) and Bamessing Traditional Council (50.000 frs) among others. The contributions into the Solidarity Fund was closely followed by the registration and screening of the people present.


At the end of the day, the following results were achieved:
157,000 FRS was raised for the solidarity fund.
 
257 were screened
*37 positive results (no of male= 05; female=32).