By Colbert Gwain, in Bamenda
The eyes of the medical world turned to Bamenda last March 14, 2022, when a dedicated team of daring medical doctors defied all odds and successfully operated upon 11-year-old Success Mongwa, bugged down at birth by an unknown disease that caused his abdomen to swell, abnormally.
Sources close to the Bamenda Regional Hospital hinted that Yaounde had originally wanted Success Mongwa to be referred to the nation’s capital for proper medical attention. But the dedicated team of doctors at the hospital succeeded in convincing hierarchy that Bamenda could do just as good a job.
After a series of scannings, consultations and cross-referencing by experienced and established medical experts from across the world, the team at the Bamenda Regional hospital settled down to work, unruffled.
Armed with the faith that whatsoever happens over there can also happen over here, the medical team under the coordination of Dr. Denis Nsame, Director of the Bamenda Regional Hospital, supervised by the Regional Delegate for Public Health under the watchful eyes of Public Health Minister, the stage for the medical miracle was set.
With due diligence, the team went through the stages of medical observation, stabilisation, draining of the undesireable fluids and finally, little Success is taken to the theartre.
The first-of-a-kind medical surgery that was being closely monitored by medical experts and students across the globe birthed the results everyone is celebrating the Bamenda Regional Hospital today for.
Drawn from various medical specializations, the Nsame-led team at the Bamenda Regional Hospital comprising Dr Kamga Fotso Luc, Ward-Charge MaryAnn Kwe kiiyeh, Anaesthetists: Chientemou Oliver, Nyamkwi Benual, Nurses:Mosi Emmanuel, Board Felix, and Chou Lilian, demonstrated in triumphant detail that Bamenda could still be a source of inspiration for modern Cameroon.
The uncommon feat performed on desperate and restless Success Mongwa was not unexpected. In the past few years, and since the arrival of Dr. Kinge Thompson Njie at the helm of that dilapidating and under-performing public health facility, the Bamenda Regional Hospital has competed favourably with other high-performing health facilities in the Region and beyond.
Despite all the obstacles placed on his way by hierarchy, Dr. Kinge steadily raised the performance bar of the erstwhile neglected Bamenda Regional Hospital. He did not only make staff motivation a priority, but also transformed the working environment of the hospital.
His successor, Dr. Denis Nsame has not only worked to consolidate his predecessor’s achievements, but has gone on to stamp his own mark of uniqueness with more emphasis on personnel development. It was such motivation from management and job satisfaction for staff that enabled the team at the Regional hospital, to perform the historic feat.
However, the successful operation of Success Mongwa is not the only feat doctors and personnel working at Bamenda Regional Hospital have performed.
Since 2016, they, like their counterparts in other parts of the North West and South West Regions, have meandered through smoking guns to and fro hospital, during the day and at odd hours of the night, only to save lives. Unlike others who because of insecurity, threats to the lives and above all, poor working conditions, abandoned the two Regions for greener pastures; these other medical doctors have remained dedicated and devoted to their hippocratic oath.
The achievement being celebrated today couldn’t have been possible if not for the good offices of the Ayah Foundation that unearthed the desperate situation in the first place and worked out ways with the poor parents to ferry the patient from Lebialem Division in the South West Region to the Bamenda Regional Hospital last February 16, 2022. Ayah Paul Abine, who personally took up the issue, made trips to Bamenda and took care of almost half of the medical bill.
Following the Ayah Foundation move, an outpouring of benevolent individuals and groups took upon themselves to donate toward the child’s operation. Among the groups were the Bamenda Onpassive Team led by John Menkefor and the Yaounde CRTV Press Hour post-Hoc team led by Yvonne Muma.
And so, an operation that could cost tens of millions abroad was diligently carried out in Bamenda for just over 1 million FCFA.
Athough post-operation fistula samples are still being examined in medical laboratories and research centres around the world, Bamenda Regional Hospital is beginning to put Cameroon on the world map as a high-flying treatment facility that can be relied upon.
*Colbert Gwain is International Freelance reporter/writer, award winning Digital Rights advocate, Content Creator @TheColbertFactor, legislative advocacy Campaigner for a comprehensive Digital Rights Bill, Privacy and data protection laws for Cameroon, Facebook Trainer of Trainers for Central African zone, promoter, Cameroon Association of Content Creators, CACC, and Specialist on New Digital Civil Society in Africa Playbook. You can talk back at dignitytelevision69@admin
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