Cameroon restricts border movement over deaths in Equatorial Guinea

Friday February 10 2023

People wait to cross the border into Equatorial Guinea by car and by foot in Kye-Ossi, Cameroon, May 23, 2015. PHOTO | REUTERS


Cameroon has restricted movement along its border with Equatorial Guinea following the occurrence of “several unexplained deaths” in the neighbouring country, authorities have announced, calling on the local population to “strictly respect the measure”.

In a statement on Friday, Cameroon Minister of Health, Dr Manaouda Malachie, said the deaths occurred in the Kie-Ntem province that neighbours districts in the Ntem Valley division of the South region of Cameroon.

“All the victims died of haemorrhagic fever,” Dr Malachie said, adding that the restriction is part of measures to prevent the high risk of importation of the disease and “to detect and respond to cases at an early stage”.

Besides movement restriction, the Cameroon health minister announced that multisector investigations are ongoing in risk areas in search of active cases and contacts in collaboration with teams from Equatorial Guinea.

Meanwhile, epidemiological surveillance has been strengthened with the assistance of experts from the World Health Organisation and the Atlanta Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the statement said.

“This is not a mystical phenomenon or witchcraft,” the Cameroon Public Health Minister said while allying fears that “at the current stage of the situation, there is no reason to be worried” as surveillance and response mechanism are effective.


He called on health workers in the concerned areas to strictly comply with infection prevention and control protocols.

Equatorial Guinea’s Vice President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mangue, in a tweet, said health officials had briefed him on the contagions and deaths in Ebibeyin, Mongomo and Nsok-Nsomo districts of the Kie-Ntem province.

“While we are still investigating the causes, I have, as a preventive measure, ordered the quarantine of all of Kie-Ntem (province),” the VP said.