By Bonkung Handerson
Opened in 1952 as a restricted hospital to treat, accommodate and rehabilitate leprosy patients, Mbingo Baptist Hospital has grown to include a general hospital and now referral hospital training and graduating specialist doctors in general surgery and internal medicine.
The seventh batch of the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) and the sixth batch of the Christian Internal Medicine Specialization (CIMS) programmes graduated on Saturday, July 15, 2017 in Mbingo Baptist Hospital (MBH) in the presence of civil and
religious authorities as well as family members and well-wishers. Two surgeons graduated from PAACS namely: Drs. Kasereka Kyota Steve from DRC and Kasumkba Moses Kaggya from Uganda while three internists graduated from CIMS, all from Cameroon namely: Drs.
Albert Forbah Nyanga, Demgne Kamdem Christelle Stephanie and Simo Sileu Rodrigue Willy. PAACS is a 5 years programme while CIMS is for 4 years. All things being equal, the Baptist Institute of Health Sciences (BIHS) is in the making in Mbingo Baptist Hospital
All the dignitaries who spoke at the history-making event rejoiced that specialization programmes that could hitherto be obtained only from abroad are today offered in Mbingo,Cameroon. They uttered the words compassion, love, care and humility as the anchor that
makes all the difference about the PAACS and CIMS programmes.
In a one-hour thrilling commencement address full of imagery and poetry, Prof. Njamnshi Alfred, neurologist and senior faculty member at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (FMBS), University of Yaounde 1 sought to answer the question, “Where are we
going from here?” The learned professor of neurology traced his humble birth to Banso Baptist Hospital, the same hospital that received him during his early days as a medic to work with devoted and selfless Missionary doctors such as Helen Marie Schmidt and Dennis
Palmer, now Director of the CIMS programme in Mbingo. Apart from the bumpy roads to Bamenda, Prof. Njamnshi said he enjoyed the ride from Yaounde, through the forest that ended in the mountain over Mbingo where special men and women are set apart just as the
name Mbingo means ‘land of separation’ in typical Kom dialect.
Prof. Njamnshi ascribed the successes and strides in the specialization programmes in Mbingo to Prof. Jesus Christ as Chancellor. He celebrated the five graduating specialist doctors (one female and four males) and challenged them to continue to work as a team
especially as much is expected from them henceforth as specialists. He defined a TEAM as Together Each Achieves More, stressing on the need for the specialists to listen even to their subordinates in the team.
The University don predicted that a day is coming when the Minister of Public Health and the Chancellor of Academic Orders will come to Mbingo to preside over the graduation of PAACS and CIMS graduates. Prof. Njamnshi felt humbled in playing a vital role in a Convention signed between the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Yaounde 1 and the Baptist Institute of Health Sciences on May 29, 2017. According to the agreement, the Director of CIMS and the Director of PAACS will sit on the defence panel of the Faculty of
Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde 1 while professors from the FMBS will also come to BIHS Mbingo. This programme exchange will also enable residents of both institutions to gain experience through rotations. In the row of greetings, the Mayor of Belo, Tosam Bernard had another opportunity to be proud of MBH to be found in his municipality. Barely a few days after receiving the French Ambassador, Mayor Tosam only prayed MBH to take the Belo Council to higher heights.
The representative of the NW Regional Delegate of Public Health acknowledged the excellent working relation between the CBCHS and the Ministry of Public Health. He joined other speakers to hail the high level training of specialists in Mbingo, which can only be
obtained from abroad. The delegate’s representative admonished the graduates to be ready to face the challenge, warning them to know that health care cannot be equated to money.
CBC Executive President (EP), Rev. Dr. Ncham Godwill lamented that the CBC has been noted for timidity in doing even great things. From this backdrop, the CBC Chief Executive sounded that it is time for the PAACS and CIMS programmes to graduate from timidity and fulfill the dream of the CBC 10 years ago to begin a Baptist University in Cameroon. Rev. Dr. Ncham congratulated the faculty as well as the residents for their resilience in keeping the programmes alive.
Other speakers included the CBC Chairman, Mr. Yosibom John Mkong, the CBC Health Board Chairman, Dr. Wefuan Jonah and the CBCHS Chief of Administration and Finance (CAF), Mr. Warri Denis who represented the Director of Health Services, Prof. Tih Pius Muffih who was unavoidably absent. They all saluted the noble and humble strides that the PAACS and CIMS programmes are making to training specialist doctors in key areas of need within the Cameroonian and African context.
In their responses, the graduating specialist doctors took turns to praise God Almighty forsustaining them throughout the five and four year’s rigorous and intensive trainings. They thanked their families for financial and moral support, the faculty for teaching and mentoring them and the hospital and CBCHS administrations for creating an enabling environment for leaning.
Heavy feasting and merry making crowned the colourful graduation ceremony in the hospital and later in individual homes of the graduates.