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Cameroon: Theft of Babies – Security Wristbands Introduced

Cameroon Tribune | The theft of newborn babies is a recurrent issue in the society today as a week hardly goes by without media reports about a missing baby or a woman caught with a stolen baby. This has not left any person indifferent particularly health authorities.

This is why yesterday November 16, 2017, in Yaounde, the Minister of Public Health, André Mama Fouda announced security measures to protect newborn babies which will be through the wearing of identification wristbands and the taking of their fingerprints in each maternity in the country. André Mama Fouda made the announcement as he launched the month of prematurity in the country under the theme, “prematurity: what it is and what it means.”

The Minister said the transportation and securing of babies, particularly preterm infants, is an important point to reduce neo-natal mortality in Cameroon. Given the diversity of methods of transferring babies and the disparity of healthcare in different health facilities, André Mama Fouda said these different methods such as the kangaroo, medical ambulance, and polyethylene plastic bag need to be encouraged, promoted or even initialised. But the introduction of reinforced security measures needs to be put in place.

Thanks to partners such as UNICEF, henceforth the introduction and popularisation of the use of identification wristbands by all newborn babies will be introduced in all maternities as well as the taking of the foot prints of all new born babies. The process, according to the health boss, will begin this November, 17 in various hospitals in Yaounde and Douala and progressively move to other towns in the country. This will help trace any missing baby. The Director of Family Health at the Ministry of Public Health, Professor Robinson Mbu explained that Cameroon will until November 30, 2017 celebrate the month of prematurity.

He explained that premature births account for 40 per cent of neo-natal deaths in the country. In spite of efforts to reduce neonatal mortality, there is need to enhance awareness on prematurity which is still a major problem in the country. He noted that those working with the premature babies need to be informed on the new and appropriate technologies in the country to remedy their situation. During the prematurity month, the population will be informed about the scourge which has become overtime, a real public concern and the need for each actor to carry out preventive actions

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