Mercy Ships a Humanitarian Non-Governmental Organization that has provided health care services in Cameroon for the past nine months have treated 25 children with the clubfoot deformity and over 200 Cameroonians with other diseases. The Coordinator of Mercy Ships Ponseti Clinic Nick Veltjens disclosed the information during the Mercy Ships Clubfoot Celebration Ceremony on April 19 2018 at the Nylon District Hospital in Douala.
The ceremony was attended by 6 government ministers; Public Health, Communication, Social Affairs, Women’s Empowerment and the Family, Transport, Tourism and Leisure and the Director in charge of Epidemics and Pandemic at the ministry of Public Health, the Governor of Littoral Region, a team from the CBCHS Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project, other Government health officials and some parents whose children are undergoing treatment at the Mercy Ships Clubfoot Clinic
The ministers and all present were treated to a presentation on the Clubfoot treatment cycle by the Clinical Supervisor of the Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project Dr. Henry Ndasi who explained the treatment process and noted that clubfoot can be treated using the Ponseti method which is the gold standard and least expensive method .His presentation thrilled the ministers who were all curious on the duration of treatment and the success rate. With explicit explanation from Dr Ndasi, the ministers congratulated the Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project for ensuring that children born with the clubfoot deformity are treated.
According to Nick Veltjens, the objective of the ceremony was to take stock of the health services they have been providing to Cameroonians for the past nine months and also to thank God for the progress of the treatment offered to patients. He noted that during the past 9 months, 8 participants from 3 health facilities which are partner clinics of the Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project (CCCP) in Douala were trained on Ponseti technique of treating clubfoot.
He appreciated the Government of Cameroon and the Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project for facilitating their work by mobilizing the patients and selecting participants for training on the Ponseti techniques respectively.
Given that Mercy Ships will be leaving Cameroon in June 2018, the Coordinator of the Ponseti Clinic handed over to the Cameroon Government the Clubfoot Ponseti Clinic at Nylon Distict Hospital with the expectation for the government to take over the management of the clinic and ensure the treatment of clubfoot using the Ponseti technique
The Representative of the Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and leisure Belo Bouba Maigari received the clinic on behalf of the Government and handed it to the Minister of Public Health. Minister Belo Bouba applauded Mercy ships for the health services delivery to Cameroonians.
The event was characterized by the presentation of certificates of training and gifts to the 8 participants
The second part of the ceremony brought together all parents of children with clubfoot who have received treatment. It was an emotional moment as some parents testified while shedding tears of joy describing how depressed they were before and how their hearts are now filled with joy as the progressive treatment of their children by Mercy ships has enabled them to walk now like other children . They appreciated Mercy ships for putting smiles on their faces.
Mercy Ships has thus charged Mr Nfor Wilfred from Mboppi Baptist Hospital one of the trainees to follow up the complete treatment of the 25 children
Given that the CCC Project has been advocating for the institutionalization of clubfoot in the Cameroon Public Health system, since 2015, hopes are now high that with the presence of the Ministers at the ceremony and with the facilitation of Mercy Ships, they may be a breakthrough in the near future.
It should be noted that Mercy Ships has been collaborating with the CCC Project in the area of clubfoot care reason why the CCC Project team was invited to the ceremony.