The Cameroon Ministry of Social Affairs (MINAS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) to foster collaboration framework in the domain of prevention of disabilities, promotion of disabilities rights and mainstreaming of disability in local and national development.
The signing ceremony took place on May 15, 2020 at the Ministry of Social Affairs under the auspices of the Minister Pauline Irene Nguele, the Country Representative of the Christofell Blinden Mission (CBM), the Program Manager of the Empowerment and Disability Inclusive Development (EDID), Mrs. Agho Glory and the Director of CBC Health Services, Prof. Tih Pius Muffih.
The MoU formalises the mutual interaction and strengthens the existing relationship between MINAS and CBCHS at the strategic and working levels, focusing on jointly advocating for the rights to education and the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream education opportunities. Both parties will also collaborate in rehabilitating, protecting and promoting the rights of vulnerable children in Cameroon. Notwithstanding, both parties will commit to mobilise resources for the implementation of interventions aimed at achieving the purpose of the MoU, organize seminars, conferences or workshops on topics of mutual interest and engage in research training programs among others.
Speaking during the event, the Director of CBC Health Services (DHS), Prof Tih Pius cited a few results that the CBCHS with support from the government and other developmental actors has achieved over the years. He emphasized that “The CBCHS has successfully prevented disabilities from a total of 6,720,000 Cameroonians through huge investment in Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat, Clubfoot and Mental Health services
The DHS reiterated that in 2014, with support from the Liliane Foundation, the CBCHS expanded its disability programs to a total of 9 regions. Prof. Tih noted that these activities benefitted over 3000 children and youths with disabilities from poor families every year.
“The CBCHS, with support from the Ministry of Social Affairs and partners like CBM and Liliane Foundation has been working tirelessly to ensure that persons with disability including children and youths are not left behind during this COVID 19 pandemic,” Prof. Tih remarked. He revealed that emergency response kits composed of food stuff, personal protection equipment and first aid medications have been provided to 1500 persons with disabilities in the North West Region.
Within this framework, MINAS will facilitate custom duties and tax exoneration to CBCHS for the importation of rehabilitation and assistive devices to foster inclusive education and social inclusion of persons with disabilities. The Minister of Social Affairs pledged that the MoU will reinforce the integration of Children living with disabilities in Cameroon.