French Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E Christine Robichon says she is happy and satisfied with the commitment of the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) in improving the health and wellbeing of Cameroonians. The French Ambassador made her feelings known during a 2-day working visit to the CBCHS from September 28-29, 2015 to inspect the Strategy Nine Projects Package (S9PP) sponsored by the French Development Agency under the C2D initiative.
H.E Christine Robichon arrived the CBC headquarters in Bamenda in the afternoon of September 28 and was received by the CBC leadership led by the Executive President, Rev. Ncham Godwill and the Director of Health Services (DHS), Prof. Tih Pius Muffih. This began a 2-day historic visit that would culminate with the laying of the foundation stone of one of the nine projects – Nkwen Baptist Health Centre maternity and an inspection tour of the Mbingo Baptist Hospital ultra-modern Out Patient Department (OPD) the following day.
In his welcome address at the DHS Conference Hall in Bamenda, Prof. Tih saluted Franco-Cameroon cooperation that made it possible for the CBC to work in partnership with the French Development Agency. The Partnership Agreement, he went on, is aimed at upgrading healthcare facilities of the CBCHS through the construction/completion of 9 healthcare infrastructure, the procurement of medical equipment and the upgrading of ‘our’ financial management system.
The DHS seized the moment to introduce the CBCHS that began over 60 years and now operates in 6 of the 10 regions in Cameroon. He said the CBCHS runs 7 hospitals, 29 integrated health centres, 50 primary health centres, a pharmaceutical production and distribution department, a training school for health personnel, residency training programmes in general surgery and internal medicine, services for people with disabilities, a comprehensive AIDS care and prevention programme and many other healthcare services. On this strength, Prof. Tih announced that the CBCHS is committed to implement the S9PP in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
In line with the CBCHS’ vision of providing quality healthcare to all, the DHS hopes that when all these projects would have been realized, the CBCHS will be able to provide quality healthcare to 100.000 more Cameroonians annually. Prof. Tih concluded by expressing gratitude to H.E Christine Robichon for choosing to visit the CBCHS and to the French government through AFD for partnering with ‘us’ in improving on the healthcare system in Cameroon.
In response, Her Excellency Christine Robichon expressed appreciation for the rendition of La Marseillaise by the Nkwen Baptist Health Centre choir and said the warm welcome was a sign of the way patients are treated. She said her country is committed to the promotion of good health, and the fight against child and maternal mortality is a priority. Private healthcare, Ambassador Robichon said, accounts for more than 40 percent of healthcare provision. The French Government through the French Development Agency (AFD) was, thus, happy to partner with an example of civil society’s contribution, the CBC Health Services.
Her Excellency, Christine Robichon, Minister Plenipotentiary of 2nd class stated thus; “CBCHB truly embodies the best civil society can offer in Cameroon. By providing quality healthcare in rural areas to all categories of population, CBCHB has helped over one million patients last year. Among them, ten thousand women who were able to give birth in safe and healthy conditions. The quality, availability and compassion of its staff does not need to be proven anymore. It humbles us all”. That is why supporting CBCHB is an evidence for France. Quizzed on the future of such a partnership, the French Ambassador told the press that it will continue.
The Ambassador then moved to the Maternity construction site where she laid the foundation stone alongside AFD Country Director, Mr. Herve Conan. A dedication prayer was offered by the CBC Executive President, Rev. Ncham Godwill, and there after celebration by staff of the CBC Health Services and well-wishers. Upon completion, this building will house 80 beds, an ante-natal clinic, women health services as well as a completely new maternity service. It will also house dental and eye services, turning the Nkwen Baptist Health into a regional ‘health solution hub’ for the population of Bamenda and Mezam.
On Tuesday, September 29, 2015, H.E Christine Robichon toured the new ultramodern Outpatient Department under construction at Mbingo Baptist Hospital. She took time to appreciate progress on the site and later had the chance to watch a video of the future master plan for the hospital.
In Mbingo like in Nkwen, Mr. Chiambah Abraham Bujoff, General Supervisor of the CBCHS Technical Services Department (TSD) presented the progress of work on the project sites namely: Mbingo Baptist Hospital OPD, Baptist Hospital Mutengene Medical Block and theatre, Kumba Baptist Health Centre, Bafoussam Baptist Health Centre, Ekounou Baptist Health Centre and Nkwen Baptist Health Centre.
The loan agreement between the CBCHS and the French Development Agency was signed on May 9, 2014 in Bamenda and the launching of the projects took place on March 17, 2015 in Mbingo.