13th May 2012
On Thursday 10th Prof Peter Hesseling and I
travelled from Nkwen, Bamenda (Baptist HQ) to Kumbo (Banso
Baptist Hospital). This is a journey which used to take 3
and a half hours because the road has 4 dirt sections.
Last year Paul Biya, the President of Cameroon promised to
tar the road and work has already begun!! A large section
has been widened and "regraded" - ie. the craters filled
in and covered with newly compacted soil - but not yet
tarred. We sped along and would have reached Banso in 2
hours but for a broken drive-shaft about 5 Km from Kumbo.
We waited only 35 mins. before another CBC vehicle came to
collect us. Beats the AA?
Yesterday, Saturday we invited parents from the
newly formed Ndop/Babessi Parents Group to meet us at
Banso. 5 parents and 6 children (all healthy survivors)
came. They are all poor subsistence farmers (2 are
illiterate) but active in supporting one another and
proactive in organising themselves - with our
encouragement. They can recognise Burkitt's lymphoma and
will tell "new" parents that this is NOT witchcraft: "Go
to the Baptist hospital where you can get free treatment".
I hope that they will also comfort bereaved parents. They
have sold dolls knitted by a lady from my church and
raised (for them) a considerable sum of money. We have
provided a float to enable them to buy and sell at profit
palm oil. The money raised will be placed in a group
Credit Union account and used to send new parents/patients
to the hospital and maybe provide food for them. Remember
that African hospitals do not provide food for patients
let alone parents or guardians. When I can no longer come
Cameroon this is the sort of "project" that I will be
glad to have played part in establishing.
More news soon I hope.
11th May 2012
As usual I am experiencing internet connection
I arrived at Douala airport earlier than usual
last Saturday and passed through in daylight without
hindrance. I was approached outside the airport by a
very persistent group of youths who said "Welcome to
Cameroon", tried to grab one of my cases and then demanded
payment. No problem - I am used to this and know how to
deal with it. I met Prof Hesseling at the Catholic Procure
later that evening - after listening to some beautiful
singing from the chapel there.
My 3 days at Mutengene Baptist Hospital were
productive. I installed a new laptop computer for our
research assistant nurse, Patience Nfor.
The old one, ex NHS, Linden Ave Surgery is now defunct.
The computer is an essential communication tool. If Dr
Edouard or Patience admit a difficult patient (like the
one sent by our BMS link missionaries, Andrea and Mark
Hotchkin last year) they can consult Prof Hesseling or
Peter McCormick or
myself and receive a reply within hours or even minutes.
We are also trying to build up POND, our paediatric
cancer database though this can be a tedious
business for Patience with the erratic internet connection
and power cuts. I might add that the computer is anchored
by a security cable which I took to Cameroon. Dr Edouard
delivered us to the home of Patience on Monday
evening leaving his car for only a few minutes. He
returned to find that a door handle
and lock had been removed and his computer and documents
On Tuesday the 8th I visited a "private" bush
Lobe palm oil plantation - about 3 hours by car from
Mutengene.The doctor there (only one) had previously
patient with Burkitt's lymphoma. We presented our
programme strengthening the
relationship and also performed a follow up check on a
patient (a 6 year
old boy) who met us at the hospital. He was clear of the
cancer (Burkitt's) but
suffering an attack of malaria. We paid for his
admission to the hospital!
Later we bought 10 litres of palm oil for one of our
nurses at Banso. It is cheap at this season.
I am now at Banso and will try to send another
report soon. I doubt that Prof Hesseling and I will meet
the Prime Minister,Philemon Yang and his wife this time.
We hope to ask Mrs
Yang to be patron of the Parents Organisation which we
were instrumental in establishing last year.
There may be another opportunity later in the year. She
is in Europe at the moment!
"Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit
says the LORD"
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 16:41