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In Cameroon there are many rural communities whose only access to modern healthcare is in a distant town or city where there may be a government or faith run hospital or clinic. For many people this means a long walk or an expensive taxi ride.
Because the government health system is short of resources, it has difficulties extending to rural areas and such communities need to be self funding (see background)
Some villages have, with the help of SHUMAS and Future in our Hands (FIOH) organised committees to work together and build their own clinics and then recruit and pay trained nurses and midwives to work in them. Such local projects have difficulties hiring trained nurses and could not afford the cost of employing a doctor.
Click here to read more about our nurses already in post....
In November 2007 Peter Hearn worked as a volunteer doctor in such a clinic in Lui, in Oku sub-division in North West Cameroon, and was impressed by the abilities of the nurses and midwife to consult and dispense medicines to patients in their community.
(To find out more, read about Peter’s time in Lui…)
This current "Spreading Health" project is working with SHUMAS to sponsor local village candidates to train for three years at the St Louis Higher Institute of Health & Biomedical Sciences in Bamenda (the capital of NW Cameroon).
SHUMAS is working with village communities to select suitable candidates who will train and who will be bound by a signed contract to return to work in their local health clinic.
The nurse, once qualified, would be committed to work for at least three years in their local community and would be paid by that community. This undertaking will reduce the tendency for trained professionals to migrate to the towns and cities to work and will sustain the provision of basic healthcare at a local rural level.
In some cases the clinic may be constructed by the community whilst the student is in training.
It is expected that once established and experienced, these "Spreading Health" nurses will accept future student nurses on training placements in their rural health clinics, thereby continuing the growth of well trained health professionals.
|3 Year Nurse Training Course Costs:||£ Sterling|
|Nursing college fees||1300|
|Grant for uniform, books, etc.||200|
|Project costs (SHUMAS)||300|
(Cameroon currency and the sterling exchange is less favourable now than in 2008 when the total was £1400)
The candidate and their family/village community will be responsible for living expenses in Bamenda and for travel to and from. In this way the whole project becomes a community responsibility. The legally binding contract will be drawn up by SHUMAS to agree the above terms with the candidate and to bind them to working in their local community for locally agreed rates of pay for three years and hopefully, for their whole career.
**WITH YOUR HELP WE CAN SPREAD HEALTH**
UK Registered Charity No: 1131624