By Fru Rita Ngum
The CBC Health Services and the Nylon District Hospital in Douala have agreed to collaborate in the days ahead in ensuring the effective functioning of the Ponseti Clubfoot Clinic donated by Mercy Ships to the Cameroon Government this year. This was the outcome of a meeting held at the hospital recently between the Hospital Administrators and the Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project (CCCP) team. The objective of the meeting initiated by the Director of the Hospital was to chart a way forward on the effective functioning of the Clinic.
The CCCP Project Manager, Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac and the Clinical Supervisor, Dr. Ndasi Henry represented the CBC Health Services while the Director of the Nylon District Hospital Dr. Essomba Noel represented the District Hospital. Also, in attendance were some of the Mercy Ships trainees who will facilitate services at the Ponseti treatment clinic at the Nylon District Hospital including the Orthopedic Surgeon at Deido District Hospital Douala, Dr. Atemkeng, Faustin, Doctors Djokam Fabrice and Mvele Jeac Luc from the Nylon District Hospital and 3 physiotherapy staff from Mboppi Baptist Hospital Douala, Deido and Nylon District Hospitals, respectively.
Chairing the deliberations, the Director of Nylon District Hospital, Dr. Essomba Noel appreciated the CBC Health Services for initiating the CCCP which has improved on the quality of life of many children with clubfoot today. He revealed that Mercy Ships, during her stay in Cameroon, trained some physiotherapy staff from Nylon District Hospital for 10 months amongst other trainees so that they can provide effective treatment for children with clubfoot. Dr. Essomba expressed his desire to make the Clubfoot Clinic more functional by putting in place measures that will lead to increase access to treatment of children with clubfoot.
“It is in line with this that the hospital is having a meeting with the CCCP to solicit [technical] assistance in managing the clinic,” the Director noted.
On his part, the orthopedist, Dr. Atemkeng Faustin said, “The objective of the Clubfoot Clinic at Nylon is to treat simple clubfoot using the Ponseti method, treat complex clubfoot with the assistance of the CCCP and train other healthcare providers on the Ponseti technique.”
Talking about human resources, Dr. Atemkeng underlined that 8 physiotherapy staff and three medical doctors from three Treatment Centers in the Littoral Region have been trained by the Mercy Ships and CCCP on the Ponseti method.
Elated with the vision the hospital has for the Center, the CCCP Clinical Supervisor, Dr. Ndasi Henry described the Ponseti Clinic as a Referral Center for clubfoot treatment in the Littoral Region. He, however, noted that for the Center to serve as a reference, there is need for continuous training of staff, a surgical center, and provision of consumables which the CCCP will continue to provide to facilitate treatment.
The CCCP Manager, Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac commended the Director of Nylon District Hospital for hosting the Center and mapping out plans for effective functioning. Mr. Awa revealed that the CCCP is designing the next phase of the project with the hope of having the government fully involved. He pledged the continuous support of the project to the Clubfoot Clinic in Nylon District Hospital.
Both parties agreed to collaborate in raising awareness in churches, schools, and the media to generate demand for clubfoot services in the Center. Also, plans are underway to re-launch the Center during a press conference. It was concluded that the CCCP will provide the Clinic with treatment materials for the commencement of treatment once the Clinic has been re-launched.