Hope and Healing International Canada – A Valuable Partner to CBC Health Services via Non-Cash Resource Project
The genesis of the Hope and Healing International Non-Cash Resource (NCR) project dates back to 2018. It began as an expressed and felt need of the CBC Health Services (CBCHS) to facilitate access to healthcare and rehabilitation for people with disabilities and those at risk of disabilities accessing services in CBCHS facilities.
On this premise, the CBCHS signed an MoU with Hope and Healing International Canada within which, in addition to NCR, other cash-based projects are being supported.
Today, NCR is very necessary and useful in fostering the aspirations of the CBCHS toward persons with disabilities. The project consists of donating medical supplies and consumables and rehabilitative and assistive technology to the CBCHS based on a request. Donations range from drugs, equipment, medical supplies commodities, laboratory commodities, eye supply commodities, physiotherapy commodities and many other useful items like hospital beds and mattresses, examination tables, and mayor stands just to name a few.
These items and many others are received in the Central Pharmacy (CP) Mutengene. A constituted list of the items received in containers is forwarded to the various CBCHS facilities to indicate their needs. More often, the needs are indicated by the CBCHS institutions from an inventory list received from Hope and Healing International. NCR Project Officer at the CP Mutengene, Nathan Nformi Ngwang remarks that once indicated, the inventory list now becomes our demand list.
Mr. Nwang reveals that while these items are donations from Canada, the CBCHS, he notes, is responsible for the shipment clearing and transportation from the Douala autonomous port to the end user who is the client.
Currently, the NCR project has two principal challenges: the need for a biomedical technician staff to ensure that all equipment sent to CBCHS institutions have been tested and validated, and the expiry of items due to bottlenecks at the level of Customs during clearing.
Through the voice of the Program Manager of the Socio-Economic Empowerment Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) program, the CBC Health Services is thankful to Hope and Healing International, Canada for this longstanding support to the people of Cameroon through the Non-Cash Resource project. Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac disclosed that since 2021, aid from Hope and Healing International includes cash-based support through specific projects. According to the SEEPD Program Manager, over 90 percent of hospital beds in Meskine Baptist Hospital Maroua are from Hope and Healing Non-Cash Resource project.
Jonathan Nteff, erstwhile Administrator of Baptist Hospital Banyo corroborates that the hospital received hospital beds, stretchers, a blood bank, bedside cupboards, mattresses, lifting equipment for the management of patients on the bed, crutches, and wheelchairs, among others. “We assisted poor patients with these assistive devices and also paid medical bills for some from the Non-Cash Resource fund at the level of the hospital. This is done more with physiotherapy patients,” Mr. Nteff explains.
A similar testimony comes from Joce Kangong, Administrator of Nkwen Baptist Hospital. As a young and fast-growing hospital, we needed many beds, machines and other equipment, which we could not readily afford within the period of transition from a health center to a full-fledged hospital. “We remain indebted to Hope and Healing for standing by us as a true partner,” Mr. Kangong remarks.
Awa Jacques Chirac observes that the market for mobility aid in Cameroon is scarce and expensive, thus, a huge challenge for persons with disabilities and their families, were it all left for them to pay. A prosthetic leg in the market costs between 200-300.000fcfa but it is given to us for free by our donor. To further buttress the point, it is hard to find wheelchairs in government hospitals but we’ve them in all CBC Health Services facilities, thanks to provision and support from Hope and Healing International Canada.
The impact of Hope and Healing Non-Cash Resource on the CBC Health Services is felt more by the client, who is the end user, especially children with disabilities age 0-18 years. Funds from the NCR project account at the Central Pharmacy Mutengene are sometimes used to pay for their medical bills, much to their satisfaction. The funds are also used to cushion some deficit situations within the system.