Rev. Dr. Nditemeh Charlemagne, Executive President of the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC), has recognized Banso Baptist Hospital (BBH) as the mother of all CBC Health Services’ institutions. The CBC Chief Executive made this declaration during a maiden meet-the-Christians tour of Nso Field on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
During the visit, Ghepejem Jean Sama, BBH Administrator narrated the ordeal BBH has been through as a result of the ongoing socio-political crisis in the Northwest and Southwest regions.
“Beloved EP, the songs you just listened to, and the beautiful faces you greeted on your way in is revealing of the hearts of the men and women whom God has chosen to uphold the flag of our Convention and our organization at a time like this. The difficult days we experienced in the time past, we pray you will not experience them”.
He added: “When I look at some darkest nights and longest days that we had to serve together and uphold the baton passed to us by our forebearers, I look back at the so much human blood that we’ve seen spilled at our OPD. Some we’ve had to rush to the field to rescue even amidst heavy gunshots”.
“I look at the fact that we’ve been for over 2 years without electricity and how God has sustained us through these difficult times, and yet men and women use torches from their phones to administer drugs and start IV lines for patients in the wards, yet stay committed to the call of God and the responsibility to serve God and humanity and keep the flag of the CBC and the Health Services flying high”.
Citing particular instances, Mr. Sama said: “I vividly remember September 24, 2021, when we had an IED exploded in our compound and heavy gun battles that ranged from 3 am to about 11 am, many of us could not come to work, my children laid in the corridors almost the whole night and whole day, our doctors at that time wrote requesting that all of them be transferred from BBH.
I equally recall February 8, when 11 of our staff were taken from this compound, the 72 hours that characterized those difficult moments and the search that eventually we saw them return to and yet they stayed committed to the service smiling and serving God and Humanity knowing that this burden that has been placed on their shoulders could not have been placed on any others”.
“My thoughts also turned to the most recent May 29, one of the bloodiest days we’ve had close to our compound. Five young men were gunned down and bullets came right into our private wards Amongst those shot was Berinyuy Collins, a son whose father and mother both serve with us in this hospital and also a patient in the surgical ward who had gone to get something to eat”.
“That difficult Sunday caused many of our staff to contemplate whether it was not time for each one of us to request to leave Kumbo to other places and have others who have served in relatively calm areas take their tends to serve in the 76-year-old mother BBH. In all of these, I’ve seen staff remain resolute to the core, for this, I appreciate them”, he said.
“As you visit Nso Field and BBH and journey back to your office, the leadership and the staff have three solemn requests to make; dedicate time to pray for us; include BBH in your reforms and give her a listening ear; continue to trust us,” implored Mr. Sama.
In response, the EP appreciated the staff for accepting to continue to serve God and humanity at this difficult moment in BBH.
“I came to office in the heart of the civil war that others call crisis and as if the injury was not enough, a dosage of the insult was added by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dear brothers and sisters, I want to say that on several accounts, on multiple counts, BBH stands unique amongst all the health institutions of the CBC Health Services.
“She stands unique on several accounts and the one which I underscore amongst many others that I will not cite is the fact that BBH is the mother of all CBC hospitals. I remember in my childhood as a little child, my mother was pregnant for my little ones, they will trek from Bangolan to BBH for prenatal with my father. If today and in this context, we are talking Mboppi, Yaounde, etc, all of them were birthed from mother BBH. That is why I say BBH stands unique.”
The EP added: “Even though the Administrator in his speech prayed that I should not experience what you people have experienced in BBH, I want to tell you that I am ready to go under the benches with you if it warrants that I do so. If I were going to be afraid of some situations, I wouldn’t have been here in the first place. I was psychologically prepared for everything. I am here without a heart that is pounding, I am here body, soul, and spirit, praying and trusting God that everything goes well”.
The EP revealed that the present sociopolitical crisis has caused CBC leadership sleepless nights and longer days as many unfortunate scenes have taken place within the CBC with BBH being one of the badly hit institutions.
“What I will say to all of you is Psalm 30:5, “The night may be too long but joy is coming in the morning”. Because of this crisis, the records, the reports, and the statistics are very clear, you have been running at a deficit, BBH has been running on a deficit for many years now but the DHS and I don’t have any problem with that because there was a time that BBH was the bread basket of Health Services and if situations which we have not invited falls upon us and this hospital has to run on a deficit there is no reason to worry about”.
“I wish to call upon you to remain united. I know the challenges you are going through but be rest assured that BBH will never be relegated to the level of a health centre, BBH will remain a hospital, and BBH will remain by the grace of God till Jesus Christ shall return. Serve as unto God not as unto man,” he encouraged.
The high point of his visit was a guided tour of some departments of the hospital and the dedication of a newly constructed security gate. According to the Administrator, the gate will reduce the porosity of the institution and will to a greater extent reduce insecurity around the compound.
The EPs visit was graced by the BBH Njang Dance, BBH choir, and the ISFB choir.