By Peter Tah & Akem Olives
June 23, 2018 went down in history as the date that the Baptist Institute of Health Sciences (BIHS) graduated her first batch of specialist doctors. The three specialist doctors; two from the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) and one from the Christian Internal Medicine Specialization (CIMS) programs were the lucky laureates to graduate from the recently approved BIHS in Mbingo Baptist Hospital (MBH).
The three, Dr. Juana Aaron Kabba from Sierra Leone and Dr. Samuel Lemery Nigo from the Democratic Republic of Congo are the 8th batch of the 5-year PAACS program while Dr. Kinne Virginie (female) from Cameroon is the 7th batch of the 4-year CIMS program.
The BIHS and her residency programs have drawn courses that could only be offered abroad, to be offered in Mbingo-Cameroon. The training programs have earned Mbingo Baptist Hospital (MBH) a much-admired reputation in the international scene due to the high number of faculty members who come from US and Europe yearly to teach.
In a commencement address, Dr. Jacques Ebhele, a faculty member hailed the relationship the residency programs share. He likened the relationship PAACS and CIMS have to that between a set of ‘twins’, having ‘Christian’ in their names. “We like our identity in Christ, He is the foundation of what we do,” said Dr. Jacques Ebhele.
Dr. Ebhele went on to add that “The unity in the programs allows for knowledge sharing and paves the way for the greater realization of the Institutes’ vision in training surgeons and internists who exemplify integrity and compassion in the medical corps.” He equally observed that PAACS and CIMS have a holistic approach that trains “the heads, hands and hearts” of doctors, with the training of the heart being more crucial.
A charge to the graduates was presented by Dr. Ngock Geroge who used James 2:14-18 to call on them to be exemplary Christians at their workplaces, homes, and communities. He told them to assert their important role and position in patient management by judiciously applying the knowledge and skills acquired from the residency programs. “You’ve been given great power and with it comes great responsibilities to your patients, family, and communities,” Dr. Ngock cautioned the graduates.
The peak of the event was the presentation of diplomas to the graduates by the PAACS and CIMS Directors, Dr. James Brown and Dr. Dennis Palmer, respectively. They took turns to congratulate the graduates before giving them with the new accolades to the amusement of family members, and all present.
In their responses, the graduates rendered praises to the all-sufficient God for sustaining them throughout the four and five-year-trainings coupled with intensive and rigorous practice. They equally thanked their families for the sacrifice of time, stretching themselves financial wise and the CBC Health Services especially Mbingo Baptist Hospital for hosting and mentoring them.
Speaking to the CBC Health Services Press, Dr. Juana Aaron Kabba said the graduation marked the end of the road but also the beginning of another for him. He noted that becoming a PAACS graduate is his lifelong dream. In the next few months, Dr. Juana Aaron will go back to his country Sierra Leon where he says a hospital has been waiting for him for the past five years.
“As a resident, I did over 3000 cases which in international standards, I’ve done twice what any surgeon should do in their lifetime. So, that alone has exposed me to a lot of cases and challenges which have equipped me to better serve my people in Sierra Leon,” revealed the medic who says he is going back to become one of the few young surgeons in his country.
On her part, Dr. Kinne Virginie told the Press that the graduation day was the greatest in her life because it the day she graduated not only as an internist but a Christian internist. She said the graduation has paved the way for her to effectively help her patients and bring them closer to Christ.
The graduation presented an opportunity for the CBC Executive President, Rev. Dr. Ncham Godwill to commission the pioneer board members of the Baptist Institute of Health Sciences with Prof. Njamshi Alfred as Board Chair. Rev. Dr. Ncham praised the progress PAACS and CIMS has made in training surgeons and internists and hoped that with the training now taking place under BIHS more will be achieved.
The spouses of PAACS/CIMS Residents’ and the MBH Choir graced the colourful event with melodious songs. The graduation ceremony was heavily attended by family members, friends and officials of the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC).