As part of its commitment to meeting the health needs of all, the CBC Health Services Life Abundant Primary Healthcare (LAP) program, organized a health fair in Mboungam Community of the Adamawa region of Cameroon from November 22-.23, 2019. The fair was intended to give health talks, sensitize and screen the inhabitants of Mboungam and its neighboring communities on health issues. These included; Eye health, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) care, Cervical and Prostate Cancers, and Mental Health.
Mr. Kakute Peter, LAP Administrator said, “The fair is intended to give health talks, sensitize and screen the inhabitants of Mboungam and its neighboring communities on health issues”. The fair provided the opportunity for the indigenes not only to be educated on various health issues but also to be screened on diverse ailments by various health experts who were present.
Dr. Evele George from Bafoussam Baptist Health Center educated the Mboungam community in Adamawa Region on Liver cancer, its causes, prevention and best practices. “Liver cancer is on the rise, affecting more men than women who are in their late 30s and 40s. The major risk factor is liver damage from Hepatitis B infection. Other factors include excessive alcoholic consumption, obesity and smoking. Hence, there is need for Hep B screening and vaccination and life style change,” explained the doctor adding that treatment for hepatitis B is very expensive and complicated, and therefore prevention is better than cure.
Keuyo Fosso Epiphanie a Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse took the stage to talk on mental illness. Mental illness is an illness of the brain that affects our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. “Mental illness is not caused by witchcraft, curse or anger of the gods as some may think. The causes of mental illness can be biological, psychological and /or social. Anyone can have a mental health problem and they are well managed in our health facilities and at times with very little resources” said the nurse. She also cautioned against stigmatization towards the mentally ill.
Adeline Yafe Tata, Dental Therapist at Bafoussam Baptist Hospital also seized the stage with a talk on Dental care “Everyone who has a tooth in the mouth can be exposed to tooth problem. You can prevent tooth problems basically by brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft brush and a tooth paste. Flouride toothpaste is preferable because the flouride helps to strengthen the teeth and prevents it from being infected. It is also advisable to rinse only after 20 minutes of brushing. Brushing is done after meals, ie, last thing in the night and after breakfast,” observed Adeline adding that dental check-up every 6 months is key to keeping healthy teeth.
The importance of ear hygiene, prevention of ear ailments and predisposing factors to laryngeal cancer were the focus of the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) team talk at the health fair. According to Kumka Adella, State registered Nurse, ENT Clinical Officer and Hearing Instrument Specialist, “People are supposed to do constant ear checks in hospitals, consult and get treated for any ear ailments because early intervention prevents disabling ear diseases such as hearing impairment”. She added that “Long-term smoking predisposes not only the smoker but also secondary smokers such as spouses and kids and other home dwellers of that smoker to laryngeal cancer”.
Eye screening and Visual Acuity as well as distribution of lenses were done. According to Jengwia Johnson Lucha, Low Vision Therapist, the acuity test was meant to determine the Visual ability of the patient and to assess how well or how poor the patient sees.
Dr. Nfor-Budi Nke-Sone, from Ngounso Baptist Health Centre talked on prostate cancer. The medic described it as a cancer that affects the male urinary organ and common among the old. He cautioned, “When you can’t urinate well or far and have constant urination, there are signs of prostate cancer”. He said, early diagnose is key to living healthy and saving your life. “We are encouraged to go for screening and to commence treatment immediately if diagnosed with prostate cancer,” he said.
The Women Health Program (WHP) took the stage to talk on cervical cancer. The presenter lamented on the fact that every two minutes a woman dies of cervical cancer. She exposed that cervical cancer has several causes among which include having early sexual intercourse and multiple sexual partners. Also, women who have delivered more than 5 times, and women who are smoking are predisposed to having cervical cancer. This message was supported by the Know Your Numbers (KYN) team that emphasized that constant check of blood sugar, Body Mass Index (BMI), and cholesterol levels are measures to preventing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDS).
The inhabitants of Mboungam remain grateful to the CBC Health Services for the health fair at their doorsteps. They pledged to take their health condition seriously by making use of the Mboungam Primary Health Centre.