MCAI ends Cameroon Programme after 19 years of successful support
19 January 2018
MCAI has been supporting paediatric projects in the Regional Hospital, Bamenda, North West Region Cameroon since 1999. In a planned exit from the country, MCAI has handed the successful Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programmes over to the local government to run. Several nurses who received training as MCAI staff, are now employed in the government service and using their skills to promote our mission and values.
During the 19 years of MCAI’s time in Cameroon, there have been changes in the hospital, its management and buildings, and in Cameroon’s health sector strategy. MCAI has worked with dedicated local staff, led by Mary Immaculate Shiyghan, MCAI’s Programme Manager in Cameroon, to contribute to several key improvements in the care provided to mothers and children in the Bamenda Region.
Some of MCAI’s achievements in Cameroon have been:
Setting up and running a Breast Milk Bank for sick and premature babies whose mothers are unable to feed them.
Extending and refurbishing the neonatal nursery, to provide beds, and a toilet block for mothers, so that they can stay near their babies in the nursery.
For 10 years, treating children suffering from the childhood cancer Burkitt Lymphoma, with chemotherapy.
Supporting the local paediatrician to establish a PMTCT (Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV) service, and extending this successful model to Nkwen, another health district in Bamenda.
Setting up a playroom for children, so that they can play when they come to out-patient clinics to encourage them to attend.
Caring for children living with HIV, both through play, and by MCAI nurses looking after them clinically and dispensing their drugs.
Training in neonatal care, with local teaching and, since 2014, by teaching a formal Newborn Care Course, both to midwives and neonatal nurses from the hospital, and workers from other health facilities.
Throughout the time MCAI has been working in Cameroon, volunteer doctors and nurses from the UK have been taking equipment, medicines, textbooks and toys for the hospital. MCAI has also continually advocated for improved treatment for children and families.