Cameroon Global Health Initiative
CPID’s Cameroon Global Health Initiative is an interdisciplinary hub of Rural Community Health Care and Research experience. Its mission is to offer global health opportunities and collaborate with multidisciplinary teams of Global Health Students to develop and implement sustainable solutions to the health and illness in remote rural underserved villages while providing them with a greater understanding of the social determinants of health issues related to poverty, powerlessness, lack of access and education.
CPID is relieving the suffering of impoverished rural villages by bringing free health care, medication and public health disease prevention education to the door steps of mothers and their babies, children, individuals and families, where access to see resources and educational experiences is extremely limited if not non-existent. CPID seeks to empower impoverished communities by encouraging self-reliance and building local capacity to effectively contribute to their village sustainable community development and health improvements.
The Global Health Initiative program creates an interdisciplinary volunteering environment, allows for service learning and internship opportunities in Baligham. Baligham is an underserved resource poor village, which teams of medical and global health students from various backgrounds have been brought to for the past five years to help address the needs of medically underserved village population .Each year medical and global health students travel to Baligham to provide free health care, medications and public health disease prevention education under the guidance of local and international doctors .Referrals for those with complex disease conditions and those needing hospitalization.
Given that social determinants have such a significant impact on health outcomes and health status, CPID surveys local barriers to health and builds “A Community Partnership” to develop and implement sustainable interventions.
The goals of the CPID Global Health Initiative are to:
- Improve the health of impoverished rural underserved villages where access to care is extremely limited or non existent.
- Build local capacity to become self-sufficient and to effectively contribute to their village sustainable community development.
- Creates an interdisciplinary volunteering environment, allows for service learning and internship opportunities
Global Health Initiative Multidisciplinary Rural Community Health
CPID offers a Truly Impactful Learning Experience combined with the Experience of Cultural Immersion.
Summary of some highlights :
Shadow doctors at Hospital and nurses at Baligham health center, Annual Baligham village Mobile Health Fair,Global Help Clinic, Community Health Outreach, Preventive Education, Rural Community First Aid,Training Community Health Workers and student-led innovation community development projects for improved health.
Baligham Rural Community Health Initiative
In 2012 CPID saw an opportunity to improve the health care and mortality rates of rural families, individuals, mothers and children in Baligham, a remote poor underserved village in Cameroon. The outcome is the current established Baligham Rural Community Health Initiative. Using a mobile health fair model, and a team of multidisciplinary student volunteers from various universities and countries abroad, local and international medical professionals, plan and execute the annual Baligham village health fair.
Baligham is an underserved resource poor village which medical and global health students have been brought to for the past five years to allow the partnerships and program to grow. After successes in providing free health care, medication and disease prevention education through the annual Baligham village mobile health fair, the partnership model again serves as the foundation for the student-run free Global Help Clinic.
The Baligham Rural Community Health Initiative (RCHI) components ; (1)Rural community health outreach, (2) the annual Baligham village mobile health fair and (3) a student-run free Global Help Clinic .The outpatient Global Help Clinic (GHC) partners with local private hospitals , government health centers , medical and global health students, local and international professional volunteers. to expand access to primary health care services for the impoverished Baligham village community. Baligham is CPID Rural Community Health Initiative pilot site and CPID plans to scale up the program to other ten (10) remote impoverished villages in Santa –Sub Division in the Northwest region of Cameroon.
(1)Rural community health outreach:
Through Community Health Service Outreach , CPID is able to identify health issues before they actually become a major health problems.
Community Health Outreach and Education Programs include:
-Maternal and Newborn Health
-Water, Sanitation and Hygiene ( Wash)
-Hypertension and Diabetes
-HIV/AIDS Awareness, Continuum of care, Stigma
-Environmental Health( indoor air pollution)
The Community Health Service Outreach and Village Health Education, not only allow us to serve impoverished remote rural villages in need by facilitating access to free healthcare, medication and disease prevention, they also allow us the opportunity to begin to form village partnerships and build relationships with our future patients
(2)The Annual Baligham Village Mobile Health Fair
Each year medical and global health students travel to Baligham to provide free health care, medications and public health disease prevention education under the guidance of local and international doctors .Referrals for those with complex disease conditions and those needing hospitalization.
Under the guidance and supervision of local and international doctors, students provided patients with free preventative screenings, health education and medication
(3) Global Help Clinic (GHC)
The free student-run Global Help Clinic (GHC) expands the current established annual Baligham Village Mobile Health Fair life saving health screenings to stop the escalation of disease and illness to include clinical diagnoses and treatment of common illness.
The outpatient Global Help Clinic (GHC) partners with local private hospitals , government health centers , medical and global health students, local and international professional volunteers to expand access to primary care and preventive services to the impoverished Baligham village community.
Opportunities to shadow doctors and health professionals at the hospital.
Shadow doctors at hospital and nurses at Baligham health center, Global Help Clinic, Community Health Outreach. Preventive Education, Training Community Health Workers
Our teams reach the unreachable underserved. Without our work many impoverished mothers and their babies, children, women and families in Baligham would have no basic health care services at all.
On top of poverty, poor road conditions and scarce transportation options make it difficult for villagers to seek medical care and treatment. This is especially a trial for pregnant women and lactating mothers and their babies to access health care 25 miles away within the Holy Family Hospital. As is to be expected, the arduous task of travelling to reach medical care is prohibitive. Many villagers instead delay seeking medical care for as long as they can and, as a result, conditions can be quite acute and advanced before a health care professional has opportunity to begin care. And for many, avoiding healthcare altogether, including preventative care, is the only reasonable option due to lack of money.
This is especially a trial for pregnant women. Those with complicated deliveries may not make it to the Holy Family Centre in Akum in adequate time for safe delivery of their babies and adequate antenatal care.
Rural Community First Aid.
Provides access to life-saving emergency first aid education in rural communities where access to medical facilities is extremely limited or unavailable. Specifically teaching schools teachers, village groups and community health workers.
Community health workforce (Community Health Workers)Training.
Training and preventive health education to community health workers.
Student-led innovation community development projects for improved health.
Given that social determinants have such a significant impact on health outcomes and health status, students identify a need linked to poor health and implement community development projects
Some Global Health Initiative Team 2016 Community Development projects linked to Community Health improvement
Water and Sanitation
Improving health outcome with access to clean water
Alarming figures on a lack of clean water in health centres have been highlighted in a joint report published on Tuesday by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef). “Access to water in health centres and even in delivery rooms has fallen between the gaps in the millennium development goals,” said Bruce Gordon, coordinator of water, sanitation, hygiene and health for the WHO. “It’s an embarrassment for the health sector that this issue is so ignored. It’s a fixable crisis.
Photo: Baligham health center nurse Gladys thanks volunteers for helping to relieve the sufferings of pregnant women and newborn babies through installing tap running water for maternal and newborn health improvement.
-Water and Sanitation; installed clean running tap water at Baligham health center where there was no water. Purchased stove for use to sanitize equipment.
-Students taught patients and staff at the Baligham health center and the local people hand hygiene and sanitation.
Launched “ 1 Dollar Meal Pack” a pilot Child nutrition program at the hospital, recognizing that the hospital does not feed patients and hospitalized sick children were hungry and malnourished.
Crafting a crowdfunding message “ 1 Dollar Meal Pack” raised funds to setup a feeding program for hospitalized sick kids. The cost of a pictured ready to eat meal pack costs one US dollar buying in bulk.
Community Cross Cultural Engagement and Rest and Recreation.
The Global Health Initiative combines cultural immersion and excursion trips to help students better understand Baligham village community and Cameroon
Sightseeing & Activities: The North West region of Cameroon is rich in culture and visuals. There is lots to see including beautiful scenery, wildlife and splendid waterfalls. You can visit tea plantations and experience the whole process from growing through to processing and marketing. You can chat with friendly locals and learn more about the history of the region and the tribes. You can visit the beaches in the South West or the rainforest in Mamfe.
Craft lessons: Volunteers can take free lessons in various traditional crafts including carving, basket weaving, drumming, dancing or cooking.
Cooking lessons. Learn how to prepare tradition local meals and favorites.
<…. We also got to discover and appreciate your lovely and delicious food creations. Who needs an oven, we learned how bake on stove top without an oven and we will spread everywhere how to make real Cameroonian puffpuffs…..> Amelie and Manuel- Medical and Global health fellows from Germany.