By Bonkung Handerson
Jenette Sweyah Shey, state registered nurse (SRN) working in Nkwen Baptist Hospital (NBH) in Bamenda was buried on Saturday, March 13, 2022 in Mounkoing, Bankim in the Adamawa region of Cameroon. Jenette hails from Gom in Nwa Subdivision in the Northwest region but her parents had to relocate to Bankim due to the socio-political crisis in the NOSO.
Jenette Sweyah Shey lost her life in the process of saving lives within the context of the ongoing war in the Northwest and Southwest (English speaking) regions for five years now.
This is how it happened… On Friday, February 25, 2022, a team of 16 health workers from various departments of Nkwen Baptist Hospital, with Jenette inclusive left for Ashong and Bali to offer health services to the sick and hurting. It was a two-day assignment. After spending the night in Ashong, on Friday they attended to patients and Jenette gave a health talk on women’s health. They left on Saturday, February 26 and attended to patients in Bali before returning to Bamenda. When they got to Mile 90, close to Bamenda at about 3pm, a group of armed men signaled them to brake, which they did. They were asked to alight from the car, and as they were descending, one of the armed men pulled out his trigger about 100 metres away from the hospital car and fired. The bullet penetrated through the wind screen and caught Jenette who was sitting behind alongside other colleagues. Jenette was later rushed to the Nkwen Baptist hospital but it was too late as she was declared dead at about 3:45pm. Two other colleagues (a doctor and a nurse) next to her received scattered bullets in their shoulders.
During the emotion packed funeral service in Nkwen Baptist Church as well as in Bankim, the Deputy Director of Health Services for Administration and Finance, Mr. Warri Denis described the macabre act of killing a health worker as brutal, senseless and unnecessary. The same condemnation was echoed in the eulogies from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFP) and UNICEF Cameroon, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, etc. These international organizations work closely with the CBC Health Services in providing healthcare to the populations especially women and children affected by the waging war.
Other eulogies from family members, colleagues, Kumbo Baptist Church, Countenance Baptist Church in Bamenda described Jenette as a saint, a prayer warrior and great disciple-maker who demonstrated eternal perspective in the way she lived her life here on earth.
In his sermon from Luke 16:19-31 in Nkwen, Pastor Ali Augustine of Countenance Baptist Church likened his fallen Christian (Jenette) as a Spiritual General who has gone home like Lazarus. Also preaching in Bankim, Rev. Kimbung Joseph of Kumbo Baptist Church challenged Jenette’s family members and mourners to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour in honour of her wish to see everyone know God. Jenette Sweyah Shey was employed in the Women’s Health Program in Banso Baptist Hospital of the CBC Health Services on January 1, 2010. She gained admission into the Catholic School for Health Sciences, Shisong from 2017-2020, graduating as a state registered nurse. The CBCHS re-employed her, and she was posted to Nkwen Baptist Hospital effective September 14, 2020 as a nurse and later reassigned to the Women’s Health Program from January 18, 2021, where she has been functioning until she was murdered at age 46.
Jenette Sweyah Shey who lost her husband six months after marriage leaves behind a son who was still in the womb when his father died, both parents, her siblings, church members and the entire CBCHS family to mourn her.