A two day meeting between some officials of Mercy Ships and Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project has taken place at the European Guest House in Douala. The meeting that took place from January 18-19, 2017 came on the heels of Mercy Ships’ invitation by the government of Cameroon to come and provide treatment, develop capacities and carry out different health interventions including clubfoot treatment for a period of 10 months. Having known about the CCCP, they were interested in partnering with the project in the aspect of clubfoot care during their stay in Cameroon.
The meeting was attended by Kirstie Randall, Director of Training and Medical Capacity Building, Mercy Ships, Tim Beacon, Managing Director, Medical Aid International, Head of Biomedical engineering, Mercy Ships, Dr. Henry Ndasi, Clinical Supervisor, Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project, Awa Jacques Chirac, Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project Manager, and Tina Ashiyo, Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project Officer.
At the start of the discussion, the CCCP Manager briefed the Mercy Ship team on the overview of the project after which the CCCP Clinical Supervisor shed light on the expectations of the CCCP from the government. Dr Ndasi said the government should take the administrative decision to integrate clubfoot care as part of the national health care system and carry out campaigns just as it does for malaria, HIV AIDs and other diseases, set up a commission to look at issues concerning clubfoot care in Cameroon and Clubfoot Care should be included in the Curriculum of the Training Schools for Health Personnel in Cameroon among other expectations.
In response, the Mercy Ship sought to know more about the CCCP in the areas of collaboration with clinics hosted by government facilities and the type of staff trained as clinic staffs for the project. Dr. Ndasi explained that the Project trains mostly physiotherapy staff, orthopaedic officers and a few nurses in some cases.
After listening to the CCCP team, Kirstie revealed that Government asked them to discuss with the CCCP team and report feedback of the discussions. She disclosed that their ship will be arriving Cameroon at the Douala Port in August to provide health services in the areas of surgeries, physical corrections including clubfoot, medical trainings for a period of ten months. Kirstie said they have a clubfoot programme with a treatment staff who is an expert in the world, reason why they came to discuss and find out how they could be of assistance to the project during their stay in Cameroon.
The Mercy Ships expressed their desire to work with one of the clubfoot clinics in Douala preferably Nylon because they are renovating a building in the hospital known as “Hope Centre” which will host those awaiting treatment or dressing during their stay in Cameroon. Both parties also had discussions on neglected clubfoot, referrals, and distance amongst others
Kirstie promised to give feedback of the discussions to her hierarchy and to the Cameroon Government and also to create good connections for the project. The Mercy Ship team expressed satisfaction about the passion of the CCCP team. The fruitful discussions ended with a visit to the Mboppi Baptist Hospital Douala Clubfoot Clinic and the Deido District Hospital Clinic. At both Clinics the teams were warmly received by the hosting hospital Administrators.