Analysis: Another Statesman Dies Abroad In Search Of Proper Health Care

The Secretary-General in the Ministry of Territorial Administration, Pierre Essomba Mbida, was confirmed dead in a Paris hospital in France on Saturday, January 30.

deceased Pierre Essomba Mbida

The deceased, like many statesmen in Cameroon, went abroad to seek proper medical care, in a Western Country, where they believe proper infrastructure, qualified personnel, and reliable health services are offered, unlike the case back in the country, where the sector is seemingly not up to standard.

Like a good number of others, the late statesman had to board a plane and scurry to France where he believed Doctors could properly serve and save him.

The decease left Cameroon for France few weeks ago in search of proper medication due to a malaise. Despite his successful arrival and hospitalisation in one of Paris’ hospitals, he died on January 30.

According to a Cameroonian, Yong Benise Yong, it is pathetic that even one of the best hospitals in France could not save the deceased.

As news of his demise circulated at home, some Cameroonians wondered why most top government officials would prefer to travel abroad for medication rather than utilising local hospitals.

Many are increasingly asking why government officials who encourage the consumption of made-in-Cameroon products, and the utilisation of services, including health, offered in Cameroon, do not trust the health system that even their ‘headaches’ are treated in Western countries.

Several persons are asking why our officials, who design or oversee the construction of hospitals, especially as the country seeks to emerge by 2035, cannot trust the very hospitals. Others also question why Doctors, some of who sit for, and pass medical examinations such as the competitive entrance examination into CUSS, believed to be where the country’s best doctors are trained, cannot still be trusted by those who are in charge of the process and outcome. 

One of those who also seem lost at understanding the attitude of the country’s bigwigs is Betrand Ngoh who questioned whether Cameroonian hospitals are not good enough to treat statesmen.

Hypothetically, the consistent behaviour of Cameroonian top politicians and government administrators to seek medical assistance in foreign countries would mean that local hospitals in the nation are underequipped and lack professional medical experts.

Top politicians, including the Head of State , Paul Biya, the President of the Senate, Marcel Niat Njifenji, Speaker of the National of Assembly, Cavaye Yegue Djibril and even SDF Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi, have been noted for visiting foreign hospitals for check-ups and medical treatment.

Many are thus left to rhetorically ask why statesmen cannot build hospitals in their country like those in the countries where they frequently go to treat their ‘headaches’, ‘running stomachs’ and even ‘malaria’ that kills people on daily basis.

The attitudes of these leaders, thus, reminds one of an Animal Farm-like scenario where “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”.
As such, the rest of Cameroonians, who are less equal than the ruling class, can continue to wobble to the hospitals provided for them by the ruling class, where the journey from the hospital ward to the mortuary and to the grave is shortened by the nature of hospital infrastructure, equipment, practices, and even personnel who are sometimes politically selected, and some turn out as butchers in hospitals instead of life savers.

By Neville Mesumbe

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