Health and Hope in Cameroon

Heart to Heart International (HHI) and BD (Becton Dickinson) are engaged in a three-year program to improve access to health and strengthen healthcare in the community of Fotabong, Cameroon. Introduced to the community by Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of Africa Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), this collaboration also works to educate the community to take responsibility for local health issues.

The Fotabong hospital was created in 1982 as a governmental sub-divisional integrated health center.  The facility serves an area of about 21,000 individuals and until four years ago, was thriving and provided care for an estimated 80-100 patients daily. Unfortunately, the medical officer assigned to the hospital in 2011 did not reside in Fotabong and thus the coverage became sporadic, and the quality of medical care deteriorated. The hospital stopped seeing patients, and the people of Fotabong no longer had access to medical care. HHI, BD and the CDC are collaborating through the Volunteer Service Trip program to bring health back to the community. The project is engaging volunteers that can provide technical expertise to; do repairs to the hospital structure, set up labs, provide guidance in hiring and training medical staff and establishing the medical systems needed to treat patients.

HHI is a global leader in organizing and managing volunteer service trips. BD is a global medical technology company that is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. HHI’s collaboration with BD and CDC will make a real difference to the health of people in Cameroon.

Heart to Heart International has a 24-year history of helping organizations participate in volunteer service trips. Since 1993, Physicians With Heart (PWH) a partnership with American Academy of Family Physicians, has traveled to 12 countries in the Newly Independent States (former Soviet countries) and to Vietnam. These teams provided pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, medical supplies and medical education programming. Educational VST have also been led by HHI in China. Papua New Guinea and Haiti.

Companies interested in similar involvement in the developing world are welcome to contact Heart to Heart International at:  www.hearttoheart.org

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