Healthcare: Transportating personnel, Patients, caregivers; a life saving mission for daring bike riders on Ghost town days

By Bakah Derick 

March 7, 2022, Bamenda: For five years now, ghost towns are a regular occurrence in this town. In addition to mondays statutory for ghost towns, other days including national feast days and any other day deemed neccessary by the leadership of what is now know as a separatist movement can be a ghost town day. 
Entrance to Nkwen District Hospital 

On such days, markets, offices, shops, beauty saloons, drinking spots, travel agencies, bakeries and others are closed with the exception of hospitals and related services like health centers and pharmacies.  
Transportation of any form is prohibited and only a few daring commercial bike riders are often spotted. They are  cautious about where they go to and healthcare facilities are always one of their regular destinations. Taxis are totally no where to be found on ghost town days. 

"On days like this, I come to the hospital more the  10 times. Sometimes I bring people who are sick and other times I bring people who are bringing food to give to sick people. I just brought a nurse who is coming to work." Shey a bike tells this reporter at the Nkwen District Hospital. 
They charge more on ghost town days for many reasons and the customers especially health workers  are compelled to pay because they must be at work. 

"I have just paid almost double the price. I live at Mile 4 Nkwen and on normal days I pay 200frs but on ghost towns I pay 500frs to come to work. I have to pay and be at work because people fall sick at anytime." A nurse we are not naming for her safety said. 

"It is true. We ask for more money today. Working on ghost town days is a risk. Let me tell you that this is my third bike. The first one was seize around Mulang by Amba boys who said I was working on ghost town and that they I only went to drop someone who was sick at the Ntasen hospital. It is risky to work but we must help people." Shey corroborated 
Shey no longer goes to quarters and on days he is not working, he can still help to take someone to the hospital. 

"Even if I am not working that day, I cannot stay home and allow someone to suffer or die at home because it is ghost town. I will help the person to the hospital even if they have to pay. I am sure that many of us who work on these days are just helping people." She concludes..

Motorcycles have been burnt and other seized by non state armed groups for working on ghost town days yet, the daring riders continue to put their lives on the line provide basic transportation services.