“High concentration in the discharge of demanding tasks and the desire to give the best of care to our patients
reduce leisure time for our staff.” Prof Tih Pius Muffih
The Bamendzi Stadium in Bafoussam reverberated for two full days by frenzy from abundant singing, dancing and sounds from vuvuzelas produced by thousands of CBC Health Services workers, turned athletes, who thronged there for the final games of the 2022 Director of Health Services (DHS) Keep Fit Tournament. The dates were Friday, April 28 to Saturday, April 29, 2023.
In an attempt to create awareness on and beat Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) from the lives of the CBC Health Services staff and communities, the first ever KeepFit Tournament was organized by the Director of Health Services, Prof. Tih Pius Muffih as principal sponsor. Other partners such as Union Bank of Cameroon (UBC) and United Bank of Africa (UBA), contributed financially to its success. Launched on June 17, 2022, the Tournament involved seven disciplines in both female and male categories. The final games also witnessed the official launching of the next edition, to begin in June 2023.
The excitement was palpable in Bafoussam as its indigenes paused to take in the events as they unfolded. The CBC Health Services staff painted Bafoussam blue in their track-suits. Under the theme, “Sports for Better Health, Performance, Happiness, and Camaraderie,” a total of 34 CBC Health Services facilities actively participated in the festival. Unfortunately, 10 facilities were not able to participate due to insecurity and travel challenges.
The seven disciplines competing for the glorious title of winner were in football, handball, volleyball, athletics, dance competition and fan club. The festivities began with a welcome address from the Deputy Director for Administration and Finance, Mr. Warri Denis, who on behalf of the Director of Health Services, who joined the festival later in the day, encouraged all to use this opportunity to beat NCDs.
Colorful dance presentations ushered in the activities under the friendly blue skies, as the athletes set their courses on the track lines, ready to engage. Day 1 was very exciting because of the track races in 100m, 400m, 1500m and 3000m. Kumba and Mbingo triumphed with six (6) medals each followed by Bamenda with five (5) medals, Banyo with three (3) medals, and Banso with two (2) medals. Bafoussam and Mutengene recorded wins with one (1) medal each.
The runners of the 1500m track race showed prowess and resilience even as Ful Goodness from Banyo emerged conqueror followed by Tata Jacqueline from Mbingo and Giwa Paula in the third position from Bamenda. In the men’s category, Tata Clinton from Bamenda proved himself superior over the rest and Sanyuy Email from Banso came second with Nsom Oneil from Mbingo trailing in the third position.
It was a close chase in the 3000m female category. Fondzeno Majorie from Bafoussam displaced her fellow contenders to emerge winner. Mngoh Confidence from Kumba followed closely while Ayama Emmanuella from Kumba caught up to them in third place. In the men’s category, Kongnso Alfred from Mbingo won over Sanyuy Email from Banso in second place and Ngange Francois who came third, representing Mutengene.
The 100m race was the real thriller. In the female category, Kumba’s Wasi Ambit beat her competitors, followed by Ndombi Calista from Bamenda and Tindati Awaou still from Kumba. In the male category, Dr. Ojong David from Kumba again showed to all that he was master of the art as he reached first on the finished line leaving a good gap between two runners-up from Bamenda: Tata Dylan and Viyoff Henry who came in second and third positions respectively.
For the 400m track race, Nkaimbi Judith of Kumba beat Kembung Lois of Mbingo and Ful Goodness of Banyo. In the men’s category, Njan Junior of Mbingo excelled over Primus Ngoran of Banyo and Bobga Nelson of Mbingo.
As the sun was setting in Bafoussam, so did Yaounde give up in the very close female handball final game as Kumba excelled over them with just a single point’s difference. Bamenda also defeated Yaounde in the handball men with over 9 points difference. It was a thrilling volleyball match as Kumba triumphed over Yaounde, 2 sets to 1. The first day ended with such joy as the winning fans and their teams celebrated their wins.
Days 2 was more dramatic and colorful. The day began with sports walk from the Bafoussam Baptist Hospital premises to the Bamnezi stadium after which was a general aerobic exercise led by the CBCHS Sports Coordinator, Monju Elvis. The competitions continued with the Dance finals as Kumba faced off Yaounde, with Yaounde emerging winner this time. This was followed by football females. The battle once again was between Kumba and Yaounde. Kumba showed they were the best by winning 4 goals to 1.
Definitely, the clash of the titans closed the tournament in a football thriller between Banso and Yaounde. The rains could not stop these valiant men as they closely contended for the title. Yaounde opened scores but could not contain Banso that came from behind to equalize and later on scored the winning goal, much to the dismay of the Yaounde squad and its passionate fans.
Before awarding the medals and trophies to the winning teams and athletes, the Director of Health Services, Prof. Tih Pius Muffih congratulated everyone for participating. “You all won. You did well”. He expressed satisfaction at the massive participation of staff across the Board. Explaining the reason behind the tournament, the Director said, “High concentration in the discharge of demanding tasks and the desire to give the best of care to our patients reduce leisure time for our 6500 staff.” Prof. Tih added that the importance of exercises to the health of the CBCHS staff is a prerequisite to delivering quality care services to all.
Alongside the sports activities was sensitization against the ravaging effects of NCDs and screening for the latter and Know Your Numbers. The general public were encouraged to carry out regular exercises and get routinely screened to fight the 5 major groups of NCDs responsible for 74% of global deaths, 86% of which occur in low- and middle-income countries, Cameroon inclusive. These NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, strokes), cancers, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and mental conditions. The DHS Keepfit Tournament is thus, an excellent forum to fight down these NCDs.