SPlogo Queue of patients at Lui Clinic, Cameroon

News Bulletin 6: July/August 2010

SpreadingHealth recently received a progress report from SHUMAS Cameroon. The report has more up to date information on the St Louis Health Institute second year Nursing Students, and also on the St Jude Nursing Assistant students.

During their last semester our 6 Nurse students at St Louis, who are in their second year (Level 2), were sent on clinical community internship placements lasting until 12th February 2010. During the placements they were exposed to all the activities of the various units of the hospitals.

Oscar at work Oscar carried out his internship at the District Hospital in Ndop, Ngoketungia Division in the North West region. Oscar reports that he worked in all units of the clinic, spending one week in each unit. He gained a lot of skills and also gave health talks to market traders, butchers and restaurant operators.

Havilah at workHavilah is head of her family now with five younger brothers and sisters to look after. SHUMAS reports that thanks to SpreadingHealth, Havilah has hope for the future. Havilah’s placement was in Wum District Hospital, Menchum Division in the North West Region. She participated in ward services, deliveries, antenatal care, drug administration etc. Now she can do all of these with ease.

Zulaikar at work Zulaika was also sent to Wum health district with Havilah, and is confident of the skills gained on her placement. She can’t wait to put them into practice in her community!

Omer at work Omer was placed in Bamenda Regional Hospital and learned a lot, as the hospital receives more than 100 patients each day! Many are admitted, and there are several babies born each day. He gained lots of skills too, and also gave lectures on health education to patients.

Jolene is one of the beneficiaries of SpreadingHrealth for the first time this academic year, but who is presently in her second year of training at St Louis. Jolene was placed at Widikum Health Center, Momo Division, in the North West Region. Like the others, Jolene participated in all hospital activities and is happy with her experiences and with the lessons learnt. The first semester exams for the St Louis students were quite challenging, as a new system of evaluation was introduced this year. Generally, the results were poor, but the SpreadingHealth students performed very well compared to others. They all ranked amongst the first 40 out of 120 students, with Omer best of all. Passing nine out of ten courses, he ranks amongst the first five. Havilah passed nine out of ten courses as well, and is ranked 6th out of 120.

Rebecca at work Rebbeca is one of the new students in her first year (Level 1), and the seventh student at the St Louis Clinic. Rebecca is from Folap community in the Western Province. Rebecca passed in seven out of eight courses. It is worth noting that Rebecca is French-speaking and all lectures are in English. At the beginning of the year Rebecca could not utter a word in English, but she ranks amongst the first ten in her class of 230 students. Good going!

Elvis at work Elvis was sent to Batibo Health District, where he was equally exposed to activities in all the units under the supervision of two nurses and a doctor. He can now administer injections, IV therapy, minor consultations, deliver babies, clean and dress wounds, with little or no supervision.

The three students at St Jude who are being trained as Nurse Assistants sat their exams in February. These students were all sent to Mambo Bafut Hospital for their placement. They also worked in all units of the hospital, but most often in groups. For them it was a wonderful experience, especially as they gained practical skills on injection administration, IV therapy, antenatal services, wounds dressing, and assisted in several deliveries and observation and cleaning of new born babies.

SHUMAS host regular meetings with all of the students. During each meeting students report on their school activities, the courses being taught, the situation of the community clinics and any problems they are facing. Generally, all the students have been doing well and say that their lectures are OK, and SHUMAS continues to encourage the students to study together, so that they can help each other to address any difficulties they face. The books donated by Peter and Glynis Hearn during their visit to Cameroon are of great help to the students, and they have been coming on a daily basis to sign out the books.

New applications for 2010/2011
So far SHUMAS have had seven new applications, and more people and communities are being given information about the SpreadingHealth project and are being encouraged to apply. Applications are coming from all parts, as SHUMAS expands all its activities all over Cameroon. Reception of applications will continue until the end of May, and interviews of new candidates is planned for the first week of July. Registration of new students will take place in August. SHUMAS will write their End of Year Report in July. Graduation for the Nurse Assistant students (a one year course) at St Jude is in November, but the date has not yet been fixed.

How did this all start?
“In November 2007 Peter Hearn, a GP from Bournemouth, UK, made a volunteer trip to work as a doctor in a rural health clinic in the village of Lui, Oku sub-division in Cameroon, West Africa. Peter lived with a local village family, a great way of getting to know the villagers and their way of life. He enjoyed wonderful hospitality and friendliness throughout the village. There was a 'Welcome' ceremony, complete with Juju dancers and at the end of the placement there were speeches and gifts in a tropical rainstorm….”

Spreading Health interviews with students....

To view, click here

PS: Thanks to Sue Pethern who raised £200 at a plant sale recently. Well done Sue!

**Together we are SpreadingHealth**

UK Registered Charity No: 1131624

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