Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Three years ago and on one Sunday morning, I received an unusual call from my neighbour. That day his sensitivity was unlike a lamppost. He asked me if I would be generous enough to be having his cousin’s kid everyday after school until the child’s parents get it in the evening upon their retirement from work. I was puzzled and I asked him why would he require same of me when everything he said seemed likely on his part? The child was his nephew, he had children who attended the same school as did the child and even a housekeeper who waited on them and besides, though I didn’t say this aloud, he was kind of a weird neighbour. Then he had shaken his head, and told me this amazing revelation.

He confided to me that when the cousin (who had just been transferred to Yaoundé and who had moved to the same quarter as we) asked him if their child could have the same housekeeper who got my neighbour’s children from school, also get his child to their house in order to stay together with it’s cousins till he and his wife returned from work, he couldn’t see why he could’ve refused them the favour but mindful of something he would tell me presently, he has thought otherwise. He said his last child of three children has HIV+ and he was finding it difficult to protect the others form being transmitted the virus from their half sister. How else more could he promote the plausible likelihood of putting his cousin’s child in harm’s way.

I listened with sheer interest as he led me though his ordeal at home and the aftermath this event could produce irrespective of either way it turned out. However, it turned out that I asked him to tell his cousin the truth and also reminded him of the doctor’s guideline as provided by the World Health Organization which same (most part copied verbatim) I am herewith going to share with my readers. Some reader may be reading this who may be HIV-infected and pregnant presently, or yet, may be gearing towards marriage or are going to face the unfortunate discovery even whilst in marriage. The following will posit for them inter alia, what they must know regarding how HIV is transmitted to the child and how it can be prevented, why they should acknowledge that the child is HIV-infected in order to access appropriate services, and many more.

The number of children under 15 who have lived or are living with HIV since the start of the global epidemic in the late 1970's is more than 5 million. 4 million of them have already died. Nearly 600 000 children globally were infected with HIV in 1999, mostly through their mothers before or during birth or through breast feeding (vertical transmission). In Cameroon presently, statistics show that the global data of 1999 has been overwhelmed.

HIV infection can be transmitted to:

  1. the unborn child (in utero infection),
  2. neonates during labour and delivery (intrapartum infection),
  3. neonates, when exposed to infected maternal birth fluids,
  4. infants after birth and also through breast milk (post partum infection) (30 percent risk of transmission).

Other sources of HIV transmission to infants and children include:

  • transfusion with HIV-contaminated blood or blood products,
  • use of non-sterile equipment in health care facilities,
  • use of non-sterile equipment by traditional healers (surgeries, male and female
  • circumcisions, scarification),
  • sexual abuse,
  • injecting drugs,
  • sexual initiation practices involving sex workers,
  • child prostitution.

Common symptoms of HIV infection in children HIV-infected children have an increased frequency of common childhood infections such as ear infections and neumonia. In developing countries such as Cameroon, diseases such as chronic gastroenteritis and tuberculosis are also frequent. In HIV-infected infants, the symptoms common to many treatable conditions, such as recurrent fever, diarrhoea and generalized dermatitis, tend to be more persistent and severe. Moreover, HIV-infected infants do not respond as well to treatment and are likely to suffer life-threatening complications. Enlarged lymph nodes and an enlarged liver are common in children infected with HIV. Opportunistic infections occur as the immune system becomes more affected, and most of these children have some type of neurological involvement, such as developmental delay or infection in the brain.

The course of HIV in infants/children are such that the majority of infected infants develop disease during the first year of life and have a high mortality rate. With recent research and new antiretroviral therapies (ARVs), there has been significant improvement to child mortality in countries where this treatment is available and accessible. The diagnosis of paediatric AIDS is difficult. In addition, in developing countries, diagnostic procedures might not be available or routinely used. Different countries might show slightly different patterns of the opportunistic infections that are common in HIV-infected children.

The signs and symptoms most commonly found in HIV-infected children include:

  • Weight loss
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Failure to thrive
  • Oral thrush (This often recurs after treatment and can be the first indication of HIV
  • infection.)
  • Fever

Making a diagnosis of AIDS in children when HIV testing is not available is not complicated. In infected women, the maternal HIV antibody is passively transmitted across the placenta to the fetus during pregnancy This antibody can persist in the infant for as long as 18 months. Consequently, during this period, the detection of HIV antibody in infants does not necessarily mean that an infant is infected. Therefore, a case definition for AIDS is made in the presence of at least 2 major, and 2minor signs.

Major signs:

  • weight loss or abnormally slow growth
  • chronic diarrhoea for more than 1 month
  • prolonged fever for more than 1 month

Minor Signs:

  • generalized lymph node enlargement
  • fungal infections of mouth and/or throat
  • recurrent common infections (eg. ear, throat)
  • persistent cough
  • generalized rash

Please note: Confirmed HIV infection in the mother counts as a minor criterion.

Having said that, my neighbour was advised not to be stereotype against his own child with HIV-related illness but rather be also very supportive while not forgetting to protect the other family members and friends. Most HIV-related illness is caused by common infections which can be prevented or treated at home or in a health centre. However, the illnesses often last longer in HIV infected children, and are slower to respond to standard treatments. The standard treatments are nevertheless the most appropriate treatments. The following general recommendations should be used in the management of HIV infected infants/children especially for mothers and other care-givers.

They must maintain good nutritional status in weight loss and failure to thrive; in most countries of the developing world, HIV-infected mothers are still breast-feeding their infants. However, with the knowledge that HIV can be passed through breast milk ( approximately 30% risk), this practice might be changing. In some countries, substitutes for breast milk may be recommended for infants of HIV-infected mothers.

However there needs to be a safe and adequate supply of affordable breast milk substitutes, access to a clean water supply and adequate means to boil water and to sterilize equipment. In some communities, where supplies and equipment are limited or unavailable, the risk of babies dying if not breastfed will be greater than the risk of passing on HIV. In countries where ARV is available, breast milk substitutes will probably be recommended.

Regular growth monitoring (preferably every month) is an appropriate way to monitor nutritional status. If growth falters, additional investigations should be done to determine the cause.

Ask your physician early to provide vigorous therapy for common paediatric infections as early as possible.

All infants with HIV antibodies should be treated vigorously for common paediatric infections such as measles and otitis media. Because the immune systems of children with HIV infection are often impaired, these diseases may be more persistent and severe, and the children may respond poorly to therapy and develop severe complications.

Consequently, the mothers of all HIV-positive infants should be encouraged to take their infants for examination and treatment as soon as possible whenever symptoms of common paediatric infections develop.

Emphasize early diagnosis and treatment of suspected TB for all family. TB is one of the most common and deadly opportunistic infections and the HIV positive child is very susceptible to contracting this disease. Every effort should be made to ensure that TB prevention and treatment is available to family members.

Immunize according to standard schedules. All infants and children should be immunized according to standard schedules. The only exception is that infants with clinical symptoms of HIV infection should not be given tuberculosis vaccine (BCG). It is important that correct sterilization procedures for immunization equipment be strictly followed.

Ensure the child has good quality of life. Most infants of HIV infected mothers are not infected with HIV. In addition, many of those who are infected will have months of asymptomatic life. Some will live for years without developing symptoms. Every effort should be made by members of the child's family and by the health care professional to help the HIV-infected child to lead as normal a life as possible.

The HIV-infected child with an opportunistic infection should have the following basic nursing care:

Infection control: Maintain good hygiene. Always wash hands before and after care. Make sure linen nappies and other supplies are well washed with soap and water. Burn rubbish or dispose of in containers. Avoid contact with blood and other body fluids and wash hands immediately after handling soiled articles.

Skin problems: Wash open sores with soap and water, and keep the area dry. Salty water can be used for cleansing. Use medical treatment, such as prescribed ointment or salve, where available. Local remedies, oils, and calamine lotion might also be helpful.

Sore mouth and throat: Rinse the child's mouth with warm water at least three times daily. Give soft foods that are not too spicy.

Fevers and pain: Rinse body in cool water with a clean cloth or wipe skin with wet cloths. Encourage the child to drink more fluids (water, tea, broth, or juice) than usual. Remove thick clothing or too many blankets. Use antipyretics and analgesics such as aspirin, paracetamol, acetaminophen, etc.

Cough: Lift the child's head and upper body on pillows to facilitate breathing, or assist the child to sit up. Place the child where she/he can get fresh air. Vapourisers, humidifiers can provide symptomatic relief.

Diarrhoea: Treat diarrhoea immediately to avoid dehydration, using either oral rehydration salts (ORS), or intravenous therapy in severe cases of dehydration. Ensure that the child drinks more than usual, and continues to take easily digestible nourishment. Cleanse the anus and buttocks after each bowel movement with warm soap and water and keep the skin dry and clean. Antibiotics used for other infections can worsen the diarrhoea. Remember to wear gloves or other protective covering when handling faecally contaminated material.

Local Remedies: There are often local remedies that alleviate fevers, pains, coughs, and cleanse sores and abscesses. These local remedies can be very helpful in relieving many of the symptoms associated with opportunistic infections. In many countries, traditional healers and women's associations or home care programs compile information on local remedies which alleviate symptoms and discomfort.

To conclude:

The ability of a family to care for a child with HIV-infection or related illness is affected by their socio-economic status and their knowledge and attitudes about HIV infection. The following questions will help the person concerned to determine what care can be expected from family members and what care must be obtained from other sources.

  • What does the family know about HIV infection? Do they know how HIV is transmitted and how to prevent transmission?
  • Can the family acknowledge that the child is HIV-infected, in order to access
  • appropriate services?
  • What is the parents' state of health, including their emotional condition? Are they
  • physically able to care for the child?
  • Which individuals can offer support to this family? What is their state of health?
  • Are they able and willing to help care for the child?
  • What is the social service system like to support this family?
  • What is the family's economic situation?
  • What is the condition of their living space?
  • What does the child eat? Is there a food shortage?
  • Is clean drinking water freely available?

Most part copied verbatim from

Barbara Stilwell's "Fact Sheets on HIV/AIDS for nurses and midwives"

Friday, March 20, 2009


Limbe presently is four years old without a Paramount Chief following the demise of the last one Chief Ferguson Manga Williams. His death sparked off a controversy on who should be the next Paramount Chief.

The print and audio media have variously reported petitions and nominations stemming from pretenders who severally have claimed their legitimacy over the throne.

However the following posits the genealogy of the chiefdom from erstwhile Bimbia, Victoria to present Limbe. It should also proffer the traditional succession as Agnatic seniority.

Bimbia was first inhabited by natives called Isubu from a major littoral Bantu band that settled before the 15th Century A.D on a coastal stretch of land that extended from the swamps of Rio del Rey and Ndian in the far west, through the marshy-land of Bamusso, all in Ndian Division, then south eastwards through Cape Nachtingal and Ambas bay to the Wuri Estuary in Douala. They extended northwards from the 4th to about the 5th degree of latitude around the Rumpi and Muaningouba highlands, latitude 41/2° N and longitude 9°E cut across ancient Bimbia.

It became a kingdom in the 18th Century and was named Bimbia which appellation derived from its first chief who was named Mbimbi -a- Ngombe (meaning Mbimbi, son of Ngombe).

Mbimbi Jack (Ngombe Mbimbi) was King of Bimbia between 1790 and 1802.

Mbimbi Jack was succeeded by Nako, son of Ngombe.

Chief Bile (whose appellation was misconstrued by British Missionaries as Bill, short for Williams and so henceforth called (King William I), succeeded Nako.

King Williams I left three sons, Nako, John King, and Billeh: Nako assumed the chief authority; on his death, John King waived his right in favour of King Billeh. The latter had frequently declared that whichever of his sons proved to have the "best head" would succeed him. His death was reported by Acting British Consul Hopkins in December 1878.

King Williams I was replaced by his son, Ngombe, also known as young King Williams II. He was murdered in 1882 at Limbola by Bakwerians from Soppo, Buea.

Following the assassination of young King Williams II the Bimbian monarchy crumbled completely. No heir could unite all Bimbia under his banner, and Bimbia as a nation essentially ceased to exist.

His half brother Mbimb'a Makaka assumed the chair and was King when the territory became a German protectorate in 1884. In July 1884, the Isubu people of Bimbia found themselves part of the German Empire after annexation by Gustav Nachtigal. Coastal territory became the heart of the new colony, but Bimbia and the Isubu lands had already passed their prime. The German protectorate was followed by the alienation of lands for the plantation causing the Isubu population to greatly decline.

In 1908, the Germans in a bid to provide sustainability, appointed Chief Johannes (John) Manga Williams, the grand son of King Bile II and he was later elected the President of the Victoria Area Divisional Council.

In 1918, Germany lost World War I, and her colonies became mandates of the League of Nations. The British became the new colonial rulers of Isubu Bimbia lands. Great Britain integrated its portion of Cameroon with the neighbouring colony of Nigeria, setting the new province's capital at Buea. The British practiced a policy of indirect rule, entrusting greater powers to Bakweri and Isubu chiefs in Buea and Victoria. Chief John Manga Williams of Victoria became one of two representatives to the Nigerian Eastern House of Assembly. He died in 1958

After the death of Chief John Manga-Williams in 1958, the eldest son, Prince Jesco Manga Williams then studying in Great Britain waived his right in favour of his younger brother Prince Ferguson Bille. A chieftaincy dispute was later to exist between Prince Ferguson Bille and Mr Ernest Kofele Martin. A Commission was set up and whose minority report by Commissioner Chief S.P. Dipoko of Missake recommended that the Chieftaincy be awarded to Ferguson Manga Williams. In 1983, Parliament of the Republic of Cameroon was moved to change the name Victoria to Limbe. Chief Ferguson Manga Williams died in 2005.

Presently Prince Jesco Manga Williams is assuming the anxiety to be enthroned the next Chief of Limbe amid resistance from the administration minding his political affiliations.

Below, Newspaper Articles: /

Prince Jesco Manga Williams

Chief Ferguson Manga Williams

Chief Johannes (John) Manga Williams

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Another Cameroonian youth of 16 is mysteriously killed in Buea by some unknown forces. These killings have become serial and usually targeting young boys in especial around the nation. However, one overt common denomination elects the relation to scamming.

The above highlight may not be novel nowadays in urban communities in the country. I have come within the past several months to intercept news broken by folks around my town on a mass basis regarding young boys who in bids to assist in the new found trend of electronic business, and braced with the fantasies about wealth and affluence, amid the providence of the quirks of the internet, and having succeeded in the receipt of huge sums of money there-from, then lavishing the lot on spending sprees aided by swing cars and women, ended up being killed suddenly and mysteriously.

The latest event allegedly involved a sixteen year old school lad who was asked to use ten million francs weekly, the contrary to which he might surely die. I was told, he had earlier had some secret and suspicious dealings with persons on the internet who eventually swelled his account with huge sums of money following his acquiescing to execute a blood pact by spilling his blood onto a white sheet of paper, scanning same and sending via electronic mail to his associates of the other side of the web. This lad received the money with a tag to adhere to a simple rule, otherwise that caused his death. Poor kid.

Therefore, everyone is talking scam presently as a synonym of a secret society these days. Currently young fellows are initiating themselves into these acts albeit mindful of the underlying consequences. In spite of this, you would be surprised to know that, this sort of label, plausibly intended for a circumscription, if at all it is working towards stifling any election on the part of potential scammers, are only bearing on bent disciples of the subject, otherwise these may only be disillusioning to those who are advocating it, be it ignorantly or consciously for by the day, would you see more internet cafes surging with them apprentices of the not-too-spent-on career, some buying airtime that extends right into the wee hours of the night.

On the other side of the coin of those who may be believing that these activities are related to secret cults are those who know they may be not. Scamming, otherwise known hitherto as conning (Wikipedia), which synonyms may include amongst others: a confidence trick or confidence game, a bunko, scheme, or swindle, is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. These Confidence tricksters often rely on the greed and dishonesty of their victims, who may attempt to out-cheat the con artist, only to discover that he or she has been manipulated into losing from the very beginning though nowadays too, they have upgraded their methodologies to simple business.

When I was growing up as a boy, I knew of this as the numbers four one nine (4-1-9). Today, I know many Cameroonians may still be thinking the terminology was conceived out of some cliché homestead event. Rather it referred to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud (part of Chapter 38: "Obtaining Property by false pretences; Cheating") These frauds have come presently in variables; from fake checks to wire transfers, anonymous communication, web-based e-mail, e-mail hijacking/friend scams, fake websites, invitation to visit the country and even the sales of pets, all online.

The latter, that is sales of pets such as puppies etc has become mainstream and the mainstay approach of these Cameroonians to trick people of any level of intelligence whom unfortunately have become very vulnerable to deception by these experienced con artists. No wonder that these confidence tricks exploit human weaknesses like greed, dishonesty, vanity, but also virtues like honesty, compassion, or a naïve expectation of good faith on the part of the con artist.

I have come among many articles on fine print and soft copies alike edifying incidents of people overland who have been tricked into western unioning money to these tricksters believing they were dealing with some reliable web company that sells pets online. But you may be interested to know that scores of individual websites and blogs all over the webscope are now warning people against the event of buying pets from Cameroon.

There was one site I was directed by these notices to attempt. When I did, I was asked to fill in my email details and all. Presently, I have come to the conclusion that my password was keylogged because these fraudsters have been e-mailing some of my associates, friends, and family members using my legitimate account in an attempt to defraud them. This ruse generally requires the use of phishing or key logger computer viruses to gain login information for e-mail addresses. Then one day I also received a mail purportedly from one of my undergraduate tutors asking me to redeem her from a financial situation in Nigeria. She had travelled to Nigeria and it had come to pass that the hotel she was staying in suffered a stroke of arson, as a result, all her money was gone. So she was discrete not to raise an alarm to her family back in Cameroon lest they may fret to some unpleasant extreme, so she decided I was the only person whom she could recourse to under the circumstance. What a sham that was! This has led many into losing their hard earned dough coming to think of it that the solicitation did earn you no suspicion.

It is this substantive loss of hard earned money which victims of scammers suffered that is causing some victims to hire private investigators or having themselves traveled to Cameroon to kill these scammers. It is now sad to know that some victims have now become criminals in falling directly into crime by pursuing and killing the con artists. Many documented articles are available regarding these killing and the Cameroon experience is yet to shine a harbinger.

Karlz JBilz


Please I invite u to read the following must-read important articles.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Have u ever gone to a party and came back otherwise? Food poisoning? Here is why.

Yesterday in honouring an invitation to witness a traditional marriage ceremony betwixt my peers, we travelled the short distance to Batoke, a lovely village in Limbe cropping on the southern fringe of the gulf of Guinea. The event was commonplace with the usual quirks of trend expositions in vestures and stilettos, music, wine, lurking gentlemen, anticipating ladies, celibates, non-celibates, exhilarating nuptial families and patronizing in laws, and most intriguing the banquet.

As would be expected, a fine mixture of Cameroonian and European cuisine, though largely dominated by local staples such as, Koki, a bean pudding whisked in palm oil and steamed in plantain leaves until it gets tender, Ekwang, a porridge meal consisting mainly of cocoyam dough wrapped in cocoyam leaves, gingerly dressed up with smoked fish and beef and stewed in palm oil, and many more I would have considered ok if it weren’t topical for another subject in the stead.

However, there was one meal which called for a lot of solicitation from the crowd. It was the popular gravy meal locally called “Bush Meat.” It consists of a gravy soup and the beef of the now protected animals such as gorilla; (generally, the animals which are very much close to the bush than to settlements), which include apes, other primates, ungulates, rodents and so on. Mindful of the rarity of these animals in the legal market due to conservation protectionism, and their tasty flesh, the meal is exceptionally compelling.

The pieces of Bushmeat are smoked for several days, using certain types of wood. After the smoking they are air-dried for another several days. Although similar to other air-dried procedures, the meat is fermented in addition to the air-drying. High-grade bushmeat is sometimes even covered with a thin layer of mold, giving it distinct aroma.

As I behold the scores of people harvesting from the cauldrons, I couldn’t help but regret the cause and effect chain of animal transmissible diseases.

Our lower brethren have from time immemorial been, our cribs and cogs. Man invented the air planes based on the paradigms of the extraterrestrial animals such as birds, discovered medicinal plants from observing the choices of animals and birds, athletics from monkeys. Man has also used the services of camels and horses for transportation, bulls for ploughing, and even the sheep for vestures. Principally, their fleshes have always provided us with pleasure and good health.

However, this good health has also very often been shortcome by the very flesh of these animals. Bushmeat such as Apes harbour pathogens that can in theory affect humans. Ebola for instance have also been found in chimps and gorillas and bonobos, and have spread to humans by handling the meat and consumption of such great apes. African squirrels (Heliosciurus, Funisciurus) have been implicated as reservoirs of the monkeypox virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and their use as bushmeat may be an important means of transmission to humans. Birds recently caused many deaths globally due to the Bird Flu disease.

Also, scores of disease we contract today are being caused by these lower animals. Animal diseases that are naturally communicable to humans are called zoonotic diseases or zoonoses. As long as we are in the immediate environment of animals or untreated animal products, we are at risk of contracting a disease or infection that can be traced to them.

A wide range of health problems may be linked to animals. Some common sources of disease causing organisms or infection include:

eating contaminated milk or meat,

eating foods such as fruits, vegetables and other produce particularly mushrooms that are contaminated with animal waste,

making direct contact with a living animal that causes you an injury or transfers a bacterium, virus, fungus or parasite to you,

handling contaminated materials such as soil and water that have come in contact with animals or animal waste. Even if you work with or walk on soil with unprotected hands or feet or have young children who like playing with soil, it's possible to contact bacteria or parasitic worms from animal waste that could result in disease.

So when I returned home that night though a little inebriated thanks to the cherished Matango drink, a local aphrodisiac brewed from the palm plant, I proceeded to research on the world wide web and discovered the following intriguing facts about zoonostic diseases.

From an article written by Lockie Gary (link) on how we could contract zoonoses, the author said “Openings of the nose, ears and mouth serve as easy points of entry for viruses, bacteria and parasites. This means that air, water, food, soil and direct contact with an animal play a part in assisting disease causing organisms or infectious agents to enter your body. Cuts and scrapes to the skin may provide entry points as well. Your eyes are also vulnerable.

Diseased cattle and swine have had to be destroyed because eating the meat, even when cooked, would have meant the disease causing agent would infect white blood cells in humans. Sheep, mink, mule deer and elk have also been implicated in the transfer of a disease causing agent. In the United States for example it is possible to contract a form of the modern day plague directly or indirectly from squirrels and prairie dogs.”

The Wikipedia on zoonoses (link) gave a partial list of agents that can carry infectious organisms. They include:

Assassin bugs,


Bank voles,



















Rabbits and hares, Raccoons,







These can be listed according to:



helminths (cestodes and trematodes),





The Wikipedia also listed (though the list is inexhaustible) the various kinds of zoonoses. Some include:


Avian Influenza (Bird Flu), Babesiosis,

Barmah Forest virus, Bartonellosis,


Bolivian hemorrhagic fever,


Borrelia (Lyme disease and others),

Borna virus infection,

Bovine tuberculosis,


Chagas disease,

Chlamydophila psittaci,



Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), from bovine spongiform , ncephalopathy (BSE) or "mad cow disease",

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever,


Cutaneous larva migrans Dengue fever,



Escherichia coli O157:H7,

Eastern equine encephalitis virus,

Western equine encephalitis virus,

Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus,


Hendra virus,


Korean hemorrhagic fever,

Kyasanur forest disease,

Lábrea fever,

Lassa fever,




Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus,


Marburg fever,

Mediterranean spotted fever,

Monkey B,

Nipah fever,

Ocular larva migrans,

Omsk hemorrhagic fever,

Ornithosis (psittacosis),

Orf (animal disease),

Oropouche fever,


Puumala virus,


Psittacosis, or "parrot fever",


Rift Valley fever,

Ringworms(Tinea canis),



Streptococcus suis,




Tularemia,or "rabbit fever",

Typhus of Rickettsiae,

Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever,

Visceral larva ,


West Nile virus,

Yellow fever.

Other zoonoses might be:


SARS (possibly; civet cats may spread the disease, or may catch the disease from humans.)

This list is by no means complete. The influenza virus is an interesting example: It continually recombines genes between strains found in humans, swine and avians, producing new strains with changed characteristics, and occasionally, as in 1918, killing millions worldwide.

To continue reading a historical development of Zoonostic diseases, click here.

Karls JBilz.