By Njoka Divine Ngwang
It was on a fresh Monday morning on April 9, 2018 that birds chirp merrily on trees while all roads and pathways converged to welcome the good news. The indigenes of Kribi and its neighbouring towns came out in pomp and numbers to welcome the official opening of their new integrated Baptist Health Centre.
As part of its mission to ensure the provision of quality health care to all as an expression of Christian love, Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) has opened a new Baptist Health Centre in Kribi. Being the first seed of CBCHS in the Southern region of Cameroon, BHCK is a timely intervention and panacea to the numerous health problems faced by Kribi people and its neighbouring villages. In the past, the inhabitants had to travel long distances out of town to accesses quality health services especially in accident cases. Today, faces are brightened and praises abounds on lips of Kribi people who now recall this as history with the establishment of this new Health Center.
The official opening of the new integrated Baptist Health Centre Kribi took place under the watchful eyes of the Administrator of Mboppi Baptist Hospital Douala (MBHD) (supervising hospital), Mr Nfor Daouda, MBHD Assistant Administrator, Mr Fonchang Festus and Chief Tonga, the landlord of the rented premises where the health center now operates. In the past, the inhabitants had to travel long distances as well as out of town to access quality health services especially in accident cases.
Mr. Mbeng Franklin is the pioneer Chief of Centre (COC) for the newly created Baptist Health Center Kribi. Transferred from Ekounou Baptist Health Center in Yaounde, Mr Mbeng Frankline told CBCHS Press by telephone that BHCK has taken off full swing with a lot of clients coming in for consultation and treatment. “On the first day, we were able to have 48 patients and the population is very appreciative that we have come to work with them,” Mr Mbeng remarked.
This new Baptist Health Center offers a variety of services at the moment including: laboratory, eye, pharmacy, general consultation, ANC and maternity. The health Centre has two security guards who work round the clock to ensure the security of clients and staff. The BHCK has 16 zealous and well trained staff including two relief workers from Mboppi Baptist Hospital Douala in the area of housekeeping, pending the recruitment of new staff.
Reports say the staff are very zealous to work as pioneer staff of the Baptist Health Centre Kribi. They are well selected and they are cooperative in work as they live as one family. Their unity is demonstrated by the fact that they live together, cook and eat together in a rented building where the health center is temporarily located. They work round the clock and do not value their rest time because they want to create an impact in the population.
Common illnesses diagnosed include malaria, filarial, intestinal parasites resulting from dirty water the inhabitants drink from wells and the environment is infested with mosquitoes. The inhabitants are not well educated on health issues reasons why the clients who come for consultation and treatment have no basic knowledge on health issues. Clients come from four to five prominent quarters; Afan Mabe where the Health center is found, Ndombe, Ngoye and Petit Paris.
It is hoped that in the months ahead, the dental, ultrasound, physiotherapy and other services will go operational. Also, there are many adults and groups that have never done an HIV test and the rate of sexual promiscuity in this town (Kribi) is alarming. It is thus, hoped that the PMTCT department will come in to tackle some of these health areas.
Tasah Odette, a laboratory technician at BHC Kribi says “I am very delighted to be here in Kribi. The people of Kribi have received us as a blessing because of the impact of our quality services and interaction with them to their community. We plan on working very well to provide quality services to all who will come to us to satisfy their needs. Since we are still few of us, we will be doing our best to assist other departments to satisfy our clients’ needs”.
The laboratory technician, however, regrets the fact that not all services are functional at the moment. She adds that “As of now, we aren’t meeting 100% of all the services our clients need because all our services haven’t gone operational yet. But we do our best to refer some of these cases when need arises”.
Mr. Evehe Martin, a community member of Afan Mabe, expresses the joy and fulfilment he feels about the new health center. With much joy, he submits, “We are very happy to have a health center in our community. We need pediatric services, emergency services that can intervene during accidents, ophthalmology and dental surgery as well as antenatal clinic services for the pregnant women”. He adds that time is important in serving lives and the coming of the health center will ensure easy access to health services especially in emergency cases.
Buche Raphael a patient in the hospital, states with relief that when it was announced on Sunday that a new HC will be opened on Monday, he and his family were very happy and he and his wife were the first people to attend the opening ceremony. He added, “I used to stress to go to Bamenda and Mboppi Baptist Hospitals to get quality services offered by the CBC Health Services, now that this hospital has been brought in our town, it has served me from time wastage, money and stress”.