Professor Doh Anderson Sama warmly welcomed the team and congratulated them for the work they have been doing to create awareness on cancer in the country. He further emphasized that the war against cancer could only be won if such initiatives were multiplied and if each Cameroonian became an ambassador for this noble cause.
NING Elijah, explained the history, mission and vision of celeBritys4AfricA. He followed by providing a run down of the programs and projects of the organization. A detailed discussion of the activities of celeBritys4africA in Cameroon since 2nd January 2011 then followed culminating on the strategies to be put in place to create awareness on the disease among targeted segments of the population.
The venerable Professor then discussed the history, structure, role and activities of the National Cancer Control Committee which was created by ministerial decision N°0153/MSP/CAB of 13 January 2002. The committee is charged with six general objectives and nine specific objectives. The priority objectives are to prevent cancer, diagnose and treat cancer cases, collect data, undertake research and mobilize resources.
The NCCC we learned, is made up of a chairman (The Minister of Public Health), an Executive Secretary (Professor Doh Anderson Sama), two assistant Executive Secretaries (Professor Mouelle Sone and Dr. Ndom Paul), one representative each from four Yaounde based Hospitals, the Communication officer of the Ministry of Public Health, an administrative assistant (Mr. Cyril Folabit) and support staff. For now, it has offices only in Yaoundé.
On the cancer situation in Cameroon, Professor Doh explained that:
The most prevalent cancers in Cameroon are breast, cervical, prostate, lung, liver, lymphoma, leukemia, skin tumors.
That there are specialized cancer treatment centers that can diagnose and treat early cancers. These centers also provide palliative and psychological care to cancer patients. He has personally trained many health specialists to operate cancers.
Given that some cancer diagnosis are very expensive, the NCCC has developed cheaper but highly effective procedures to diagnose certain cancers.
The NCCC has produced and distributed thousands of detailed documents on cancer and trained hundreds of health personnel on cancer related issues.
Well equipped mobile diagnosis and treatment teams move from Yaoundé to towns and villages around the country to carry out awareness campaigns, screening and treatment of cancer cases. This is done FREE of charge and on a volunteer basis.
Overall, people are becoming more aware of the dangers related to cancer but very few are adopting the appropriate habits and lifestyle necessary for its prevention.
He concluded that, in spite of the difficult financial and material situation of the NCCC, they are satisfied with the achievements of the Committee and that many more positive things are due to happen in the near future in relation to the fight against cancer.
Discussions then narrowed down to avenues of collaboration between the NCCC and celeBritys4africA. It was mutually agreed that the most pressing and effective intervention that Cameroonians need today is AWARENESS creation. The NCCC for about 4 years now has been encouraging grassroots NGOs both with finances and documentation to spread the word on cancer.
Ning Elijah handed over samples of all literature produced and distributed by celeBritys4africA alongside complete documentation on the organization. The Executive Director of the NCCC then provided the team with copies of the Information Guide on Cancer in Cameroon (2007 edition), The National Cancer Control Programme Document (The Cancer Bible as it is affectionately called here) and some brochures on cancer. The meeting ended at 4.30 pm with a group photo and a firm commitment to unite forces in order to kick cancer out of Cameroon.
celeBritys4africA, Inc, is a registered Nevada non profit organization with corporate office in Las Vegas and branch office in Buea, Cameroon. celeBritys4africA specializes in raising cancer awareness and encouraging prevention in Africa and in the African communities in the diaspora. For more information visit celebritys4africa.org.