Equipment and staff for limiting and eventually eradicating the virus in Cameroons being managed by the logistics section of the Cameroon Health Emergency Operations Centre in Yaounde. The section provides logistics for operation and hierarchy demands for the rationalization of equipment. Simply point, the section provides material for office usage and field visits within the framework of combating COVID-19 in the country. The logistic section therefore takes care and maintains the functioning of equipment at the Centre. There are 81 office computers for administrative work, 29 cars with three ambulances included for the transportation of persons and for rapid intervention.
Explaining how procurement and subsequent deployment to the regions is done, the Chief of Section, Bienvenu Thaddée Onana, a global Supply Chain Manager, said buying is done through United Nations agencies like UNDP and UNICEF, and paid by the State of Cameroon. “The shipment procedure requires meeting up with certain administrative documents and rules both at the customs and aviation levels. Once purchase of the needed material is done, a plane needs to be secure for transportation, after which documents need to be filed,” he explained, adding that once the plane arrives and recipient is acknowledged, distribution can start. There exist three warehouses for storing of material and the Centre is expecting a second shipment with the first having arrived from China.
Data visibility, he noted, is done on how the products are being used at the regional level and its impact. Analysis are done with recommendations made. Daily information on the global situation is provided at 5pm to the Minister of Public Health who intends transmits to hierarchy.
For the staff, the section strives to ensure they are morally balanced at all moments for the fight against the virus. Drivers are medically briefed on hygiene and sanitation conditions and when going out to collect a body.
The staff work for long working hours daily obliging the Centre to shoulder their feeding. About 400 to 500 bottles of 0,5 littres of mineral water is consumed daily at the water alongside 500 packs of fast food. For the first month of operations, the Chief of Section said 4,975 fast food packs have been consumed with 750 packets of bottled mineral water and each packet containing 12 bottles of water. The Centre equally covers the health problems of workers with messages offered to staff as need arises (maximum of five of each sex daily). Individual protection masks are distributed every morning and replaced in due course. An estimated 6,000 photocopies are done each day for administration and documentation.
Going by the forecast projections as presented by Bienvenu Onana, they envisage the country recording 3,500 active cases should the population not respect prescribed measures. Based on the hypothesis, he said 205 resources have been identified to tackle the situation should the case be. Some of the resources he cited are hygiene and sanitation materials, personal protective equipment, resources for diagnosis, drugs and consumable material, biomedical equipment, mobile equipment and human resources just to name a few. Together with his team members, a five-day brainstorming was done on medical personnel and related equipment needed to handle the projected 3,500 and strategies adopted. A specialised recruitment, CT learnt is in the pipeline to that effect.
The logistics section, Bienvenu Onana noted, identifies, constructs and equips isolation and treatment centers. The Olembe quarantine center he stated, has 500 rooms with 500 beds and 150 health workers. Equipment of the Yaounde military stadium, another quarantine centre, is ongoing and will be ready for use soon.
Constant electricity supply, a powered standby generator, fuel for transportation and airtime for contact tracking of active cases who mingled with the population, are other logistics provided the section at bringing the virus to bay.