A pharmacist distributes free medicine to a patient after a consultation in Ngat-Bane, Cameroon, Aug. 20, 2022. (Photo by Kepseu/Xinhua)
As early as 6:00 a.m., Berlin Fangan had already taken her place in a makeshift but comprehensive Chinese clinic right next to the Bangou Sub-Divisional Hospital in the Western Region of Cameroon.
YAOUNDE, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) — As early as 6:00 a.m., Berlin Fangan had already taken her place in a makeshift but comprehensive Chinese clinic right next to Bangou Sub-Divisional Hospital in Cameroon’s Western Region.
The mother-of-two was nervous and in pain as she explained that her 10-year-old untreated joint pain was wearing her down. She said she had been treated by doctors over the years, but the prescribed drugs were not effective.
“It (medicine) gave me some relief… but five minutes later the pain returned,” the 53-year-old widow told Xinhua as she and hundreds of Cameroonians in the Bangou and Bamenju divisions of the region’s Upper Plateau division waited for a team of Chinese medical specialists who had arrived in the region on Friday for a two-day free consultation and treatment campaign.
Bangu and Bamenju, with a population of over 100,000, are surrounded by many rural communities with rich wildlife and scattered settlements, and have only two hospitals. Villagers often suffer from health problems such as gastritis, typhus, malaria, cataracts, rheumatism. But most of them cannot afford medical services.
“My brother informed me about the health campaign. I left Douala (Cameroon’s commercial hub, more than 200km from Bangu) at midnight and arrived here at 6:30am,” said the retired history teacher and father of five, who said he suffered from nerves and cramps from 2016
Martin Quamo stood looking dejected as he looked at his 10-year-old son, Christian Jomo, who was suffering from testicular pain. His twin sister suffered from neck tension and one part of her body was unstable, she said.
“I tried using traditional medicine (of Djomo) for three years in vain. I think the Chinese doctors will help because they work well,” Cuamo said.
A doctor takes the temperature of a patient in Ngat-Bane, Cameroon, Aug. 20, 2022. (Photo by Kepseu/Xinhua)
As the sun rose over Bangu and Bamenju, a large number of patients began to line up to register, consult and then receive treatment from doctors in various departments who were here as members of the 22nd Chinese Medical Team for Cameroon .
Phangan was among the first patients to be consulted.
It was carefully applied to acupuncture treatment, an ancient Chinese healing method in which fine needles are inserted through the skin at specific points to treat various physical conditions.
“As I’m talking to you, the pain is gone,” Phangan said after the treatment. “I feel better. In the morning I couldn’t turn my neck like that… but now I can swing back, left and right without a problem.”
After an examination, little Jomo was given medicine that he hoped would cure him. “I feel better,” he said.
For the first time since 2016, Justin Kwamu, 71, felt relieved when his disease was detected by ultrasound. He had previously visited doctors several times, but the results were not satisfactory.
“The Chinese doctors inserted needles into my skin and it magically relieved my pain. I am still amazed by the miracles of this treatment,” Kwamu told Xinhua two days after receiving acupuncture treatment.
More than 1,600 patients were consulted and treated during the campaign, which took place from October 29 to 30, said Paul Sikapin, mayor of Bangou Municipality.
“I categorically asked that such a campaign be organized next year,” Sikapin said.
Fabrice Dubila, a doctor at Bangou Sub-Divisional Hospital, said Cameroonian and Chinese doctors worked side by side in treating patients and offering much-needed medical services during the campaign.
“This is a great opportunity to learn from our colleagues abroad. So far we have cooperated in the diagnosis of some patients and I have also learned some other diagnostic techniques that I can use to diagnose some specific diseases, especially lipoma and other pathologies. I think it is a very good opportunity to witness acupuncture here in Bangu,” Dubila said.
Theodore Datuo, the Deputy Speaker of Cameroon’s National Assembly, who is also a Member of Parliament for Upper Plateau Constituency, said the campaign was a sign of friendly relations between Cameroon and China.
“China has always helped Cameroon in the health sector and this time it is the turn of the Western region to benefit,” said Datuo, the main organizer of the campaign.
“This campaign is about the welfare of the population, the health of the population, and when the population is healthy, economic development will follow. We thank China for this cooperation and the Chinese medical team in Cameroon,” he added.
Guo Jun, head of the Chinese medical team in Cameroon, said that China has already sent 22 medical teams and 736 medical professionals to Cameroon since 1975 to diagnose diseases, relieve patients’ pain, improve local health conditions and the local medical level.
“Today’s free clinic is just an example. In the future, we will further deepen cooperation, contribute to the promotion of medical aid projects, and promote China-Cameroon friendship,” Guo said.
In addition to the free clinic, the Chinese medical team, together with the Beijing Urban Construction Group, donated medicines and protective materials to local hospitals.