The fellowship was pregnant, yet only the Director of Health Services (DHS), Prof. Tih Pius Muffih could midwife the baby in his speech when he took to the rostrum. The speech, presented here in its entirety, serves as an appraisal of his journey as DHS together with the leaders in the hall. Like Jesus and his 12 disciples at the Last Supper table, Prof. Tih congratulates the leaders for their exceptional quality. He also encourages them through a clear road map. Feed your eyes and minds in the wisdom in the following speech….
A SPEECH FROM THE DIRECTOR OF HEALTH SERVICES DURING THE FELLOWSHIP MEAL IN MVAN WEDNESDAY 22ND NOVEMBER 2023.
Tih Pius Muffih, Director
My dear leaders of the CBC Health Services.
Welcome to this unique opportunity which brings together the cream of our beloved Department of Health Services. Many of you traveled to Yaounde last week but some of you came just yesterday to be a part of this fellowship. I asked that you be invited to come so that we can share a meal, share a smile, share in prayers, and above all, participate in a Lord Supper service to mark the end of our goals and budget session for 2023. The fellowship is also to mark the end of the year 2023. More importantly, it is one of the symbolic events that led to my formal end of service as the Director of Health Services. There will be other opportunities to meet again but this is most significant. It is not every time that a team of seasoned leaders of this nature assemble to fellowship.
You are a special team and I feel that it is an honor to address a team that consistently demonstrates dedication, innovation, and a shared commitment to our mission and vision. I want to extend a warm welcome to each one of you and to ask that you greet everyone sitting by you very warmly. Fellowship with one another and share information freely.
As a system, we have done well over the years despite the different challenges that we have faced. It is not enough to succeed but more important to sustain the success over time.
The CBC Health Department is an example of a successful health system in Cameroon and the question is, “FOR HOW LONG WILL THIS SUCCESS LAST?” We have built a great health system together and should sustain it together. We have heard a lot and seen pictures of failed health systems mostly church run hospitals. Faith-based organizations (FBO) health services that have been the hope of the poor currently face many challenges and some have declined in quality and quantity. The transition from missionary to national leadership has witnessed a tremendous discordance in leadership styles and philosophies. The missionaries were fully devoted and needed no supervision to perform their duties. There was no power tussle, no hierarchy, and God was seen as the owner or Proprietor of the services they rendered. At moment the struggle for positions within the church is visible and on the increase. It is a pity that poor patients, suffering patients, should be funding administration, and giving other benefits to keep healthy people healthier. What a pity! What a shame! If this trend continues then more and more church run health services will collapse. There are many negative forces fighting to destroy what is working. What should we do? My beloved servants of the Lord do not blame the darkness, light the candle.
Visionary leadership will keep us focused on the path of success and ensure sustainability. We have all it takes to the light shining in a spirit of love, compassion, and unity. We have the old and the new people in place that know where we have come from and where we are now as well as where we should aim at being in future. No one should be left behind. Do all to bring on board all stakeholders to reason together and sustain the gains of the CBC Health Department.
Some of the people may not be workers of the CBC Health Department but they are all important if they buy into our mission and vision and feel committed and ready to sacrifice for the sustainability of the CBC Health Department. There is strength in unity, there is success in synergy. We are stronger together. We must put away tribal sentiments and adopt the spirit of brotherhood.
The CBC health department has survived the post-missionary era, the post-1994 currency devaluation, the post-HIV pandemic of 1981 to 2023, the post-Anglophone war of 2016 to 2023, and the post-COVID-19 pandemic of 2019 to 2022. We need to pray more and add strategies and resilience to survive the challenges that plague the church and the health sector in Cameroon and Africa.
I encourage all of you to be servant leaders. You are all visionary and God-fearing leaders. That is what is helping us to succeed. Such leaders are not appointed as a favour or to please a particular tribe. A leadership position should be an opportunity to be a servant of all and to serve God and mankind. Leaders should be chosen because of the content of their character, commitment to God, proven performance, proven experience in the field, honesty, integrity, balanced mind in decision making, and the sacrifices they make. It is important to separate tribal sentiments from the choice of servant leaders. Everyone wants to be in charge but not everyone is a leader. We all have different gifts and if you do not have the gift of leadership, you still have another gift. No one is without a gift. Find out where your gifts are.
My beloved leaders of the CBC Health Services,
As we stand at the summit of our collective achievements in the health system in Cameroon, I want to charge each and every one of you with the responsibility and honor of sustaining the gains and successes we have built together.
The journey to this point has been marked by dedication, resilience, and a shared commitment to improving healthcare outcomes for our community.
Here are my charges to you:
- Mission and Vision: Keep to our mission and vision. Do not deviate from the them nor from our policies. Respect them and defend them always.
- Caretakers of Compassion: In healthcare, compassion is as vital as medical expertise. Continue to be caretakers of compassion—embrace empathy, kindness, and understanding in your interactions with patients, their families, and each other. Our ability to provide not just medical care but compassionate care is at the core of our sustained success.
- Guardians of Excellence: Consider yourselves guardians of the excellence we have achieved. Uphold the highest standards in patient care, service delivery, and professionalism. Each interaction matters, and it is through our collective commitment to excellence that we will sustain the trust and confidence of those we serve. Quality care to all should be always our vision.
- Custodians of Innovation: The world is ever-evolving, and so must we. Embrace innovation in your respective roles—seek out new ideas, technologies, and processes that can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our services. Sustainability is not just about preserving resources; it’s about evolving to meet the needs of the present and future. Innovation has been the heartbeat of our progress. Embrace a culture of continuous improvement. Challenge the status quo, be open to change, and strive for innovation in every aspect of our work.
- Champions of Collaboration: We are a system. The CBCHS is one and indivisible. Our successes are the fruits of collaboration and teamwork. Be champions of collaboration within and beyond your respective roles. Break down barriers, share knowledge, and work seamlessly across departments. Our ability to collaborate determines our capacity to address complex healthcare challenges and sustain our impact. Our strength lies in our unity. Foster open communication and collaboration within and between teams. Share your insights, experiences, and ideas. By working together, we can ensure that our services remain not only sustainable but also adaptable to the changing landscape.
- Stewards of Resources: Sustainability is not just about maintaining our achievements but also about being responsible stewards of the resources entrusted to us. Be mindful of resource utilization, minimize waste, and explore maximum use of resources. This stewardship extends to both financial resources and the environmental footprint of our operations.
- Guardians of Community Health: Our impact extends beyond the walls of our facilities. Be vigilant guardians of community health. Engage with the community, understand their needs, and actively contribute to initiatives that promote overall well-being. A thriving community is the ultimate measure of our sustained success.
- Leaders in Education and professional growth: Share your knowledge and expertise generously. Be leaders in education, both within our organization and in the broader healthcare community. By fostering a culture of continuous learning and knowledge-sharing, we contribute to the growth and resilience of the entire healthcare ecosystem.
Our ability to provide cutting-edge services is directly linked to the skills and knowledge of our team. Invest in your professional growth and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Attend workshops, pursue certifications, and stay informed about health trends. A well-equipped team is essential for sustaining excellence.
- Cultivate a Culture of Sustainability: Sustainability is not a one-time effort; it’s a mindset. Let us collectively commit to integrating sustainable practices into our daily operations. From reducing waste to optimizing energy consumption, each small step contributes to the greater goal of a sustainable future.
- Listen to Our Stakeholders: Our services impact a wide range of stakeholders, from clients to the communities we serve. Actively listen to their needs, feedback, and concerns. By understanding and responding to the voices of those we serve, we ensure that our services remain relevant, impactful, and sustainable.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In taking up these charges, remember that each one of you plays a crucial role in the continued success of our CBC health system. Together, let us not just sustain the gains we’ve made but build upon them for a future where healthcare excellence is not just a goal but a constant reality.
I want to take a moment to express my deepest appreciation for each one of you. Your unwavering dedication to providing exceptional healthcare has left an indelible mark on our community and has been a source of inspiration for me and for many.
Together, we’ve faced challenges, celebrated victories, and, most importantly, made a difference in the lives of those we serve.
The compassion, skill, and professionalism you bring to your roles are the foundation of our success, and I am truly honored to have had the privilege of leading and working alongside such an exceptional group of healthcare providers.
As I move on to new roles, I carry with me the memories of the meaningful moments we’ve shared and the profound impact we’ve had on the health and well-being of our community. While I may be leaving this role, please know that the bonds we’ve forged will always hold a special place in my heart. I will not be far from you. I remain a part of you in this noble service.
I want to express my gratitude for the remarkable work each of you contributes to our shared mission and vision. Together, let us continue to build a legacy of sustainability, innovation, and service excellence. I am confident that the passion and expertise you bring will continue to drive us forward.
As I conclude, please be reminded that the CBC Health Board will be electing a new Director of Health services in December. We are talking about sustainability and I want to say “There is no success without a successor”. I have been preparing many leaders including you. Jesus prepared twelve leaders, but he pointed to Peter as the leader of the disciples. He could have appointed John. Peter was not without fault. Peter was weak and would even deny Jesus but neither Jesus nor the disciples refused Peter as a leader. God looks at the heart and will choose he who is willing not the perfect person. We are all weak vessels in His hand. The disciples knew that Jesus chose Peter as their leader. Jesus himself publicly declared his choice of Peter to the hearing of all the disciples. I may not do that, but I expect all of you to know who the Peter is and will give your full support to him or her when the time comes, and when the Board decides. I am not imposing on the Board. The Board has its own criteria to use.
I do not pray to be here much longer but whether I am here or not, I want to hear good news and the observance of the love we have shared over the years.
I have a supportive role that will be very beneficial to the entire CBCHS and to the CBC as a whole. Pray only for good health. I will be here with you. Fear not.
I have the utmost confidence in each one of you and the continued success of our healthcare team. Your commitment to excellence and patient care is unmatched, and I have no doubt that you will continue to thrive and make a positive difference in the lives of those who rely on our services. Do not blame the darkness, light the candle. Keep the light burning. To God be the glory.
In His service, Tih Pius Muffih