National Telegraph Investigative Report Forces Cameroon Government To Withdraw Drug That Caused Blindness In 15 Babies.

By Eric Tataw – Saturday Jan 26, 2019.

Minister of Public Health, Manaouda  Malachie

The Government of Cameroon, scandalized by an Investigative Report from National Telegraph, an online news agency with headquarters in Washington DC, USA, over Chlorhexidine 7.1% drug has reacted with immediate effect. On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, National Telegraph published an investigative story titled; “Health Scandal Rocks Yaoundé, 15 Babies Go Blind In Hospital.”

In that report, the news agency authoritatively stated that fifteen (15) neonates went blind at the Ophthalmologic Hospital in Oback, a locality in Okola Sub-division, Lekié Division, in the Center Region of Cameroon. National Telegraph went on that the babies had received a drug named Chlorhexidine 7.1% used for the treatment of umbilical cord.

Communiqué stopping the distribution of
Chlorhexidine 7.1% that caused blindness in babies

National Telegraph exposed investigations carried out by the Direction for Fight Against Illnesses, Epidemic and Pandemic at the Ministry of Public Health that revealed that newborns suffered from blindness due to conjunctiva ulceration coming from the drugs. Exactly two days after, the Government of Cameroon reacted with a Communiqué.

The new Minister of Public Health, Manaouda Malachie, appointed on January 4, 2019, by Paul Biya, Cameroon’s President in replacement of André Mama Fouda has quickly signed a Communiqué. In the documented signed late Friday January 25, 2019, the Minister ordered the immediate withdrawal of the drug; Chlorhexidine 7.1% from the market.

The initial investigative story published by National Telegraph

National Telegraph had accused the Government of doing nothing to withdraw this medicine despite the risk of it to cause more havoc, adding that it seems there is a big business behind it. the huge medical scandal was kept secret since December 2018 during the reign of André Mama Fouda, sacked Public Health Minister until National Telegraph uncovered it.

This medicine had been widely distributed in some hospitals across Cameroon thanks to Trust Fund Project. This project, National Telegraph reported, is put in place by the European Union with the aim of improving maternal and newborn health. Before now, fourteen (14) rural health centers benefited from the project, nine (9) from the Center Region and five (5) in the East Region. These regions have the particularity to perform poorly as far as maternal and newborn health are concerned.

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