By Ngeh Nadege
Hello everyone, my name is Antoine and I am currently enrolled in my last year of studies in Pharmacy in France. I was invited as a missionary by the CBC Health Services for 3 months January to April 2021. I came across the CBC Health Services during my previous work at Novartis in Switzerland.
Learning that the CBC Health Services is well established and an important player in the healthcare space in Cameroon, I decided to join the NCD Prevention and Control Program, in order to understand and experience first-hand, how NCDs are treated in Cameroon. Stemming from my background in Pharmacy and my previous experiences, I developed particular interest in diabetes and hypertension because, like other NCDs, they are silent killers. Also, many people are still unaware and a great majority of those who have the conditions do not follow their treatment as prescribed.
In the course of my studies in Pharmacy, I have seen the national management protocols in France and have come in contact with patients who are treated with them.
During my time in Cameroon, I worked in Yaoundé for 6 weeks, split between Etoug-Ebe Baptist Hospital Yaounde and Ekoundoum Baptist Health Centre, and for 6 weeks at the Mboppi Baptist Hospital Douala, and visited the Bonaberi Baptist Health Centre, in Douala. I also had the chance to work for a few days at the Central Pharmacy in Mutengene and visited the Baptist Hospital Mutengene. I joined the Know Your Numbers and the Diabetes and Hypertension Unit Teams, in activities ranging from screening, diagnosis, lifestyle counselling, to pharmacological treatment and follow-up visits. This brought me face-to-face with the local realities, patients’ perceptions, mentalities and practices. Noting the differences and similarities between Cameroon and France, in this regard, was extremely enriching.
Overall, my experience from a medical and a personal point of view was incredible. Discussing about improvements with the medical teams and by putting our knowledge and thoughts together, we came up with great ideas which I hope will be beneficial to the patients. Working in a different health system is an outstanding milestone for me because, I aspire to work with similar health systems, to contribute in improving patients’ health.
I would like to thank everyone that I met during my trip in Cameroon, especially Dr. Njume who did an amazing job of arranging everything during my stay. [Dr. Epie Njume is the General Supervisor of CBCHS NCDs program]. I will always remember my time with you!!!
Again, thank you all very much and stay safe!!