he mobile hospital, Africa Mercy, was officially received by three members of government in Douala yesterday.
In view of ensuring that patients receive free surgeries and healthcare from Africa Mercy, by the international faith-based organisation, Mercy Ships, throughout the 10 months of stay in Douala, government has taken the disposition to transport patients to Douala and then to the seaport.
In his keynote address during the welcome ceremony at the Douala Seaport in the presence of the Minister of Transport, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o, the Minister of Public Health, André Mama Fouda, pointed out that all beneficiaries who are from the 10 regions of the country will be hosted at the Laquintinie Hospital, Gaenyco-Obstetric and Paediatric Hospital as well as the Nylon District Hospital all in the city of Douala. Mercy Ships has equipped wards in these health establishments whereby the patients will also be hospitalised.
The beneficiaries will be gathered at the Party House in Bonanjo every day in order to be programmed for the treatment per day. Their feeding and all that is needed for lodging have been prepared and made ready. To begin with, he said the patients will be directed from their local hospitals to Douala, where they are expected to receive treatment free of charge. Already, three thousand have so far been considered for the treatment and while registration is currently going on in order to meet the expected 5000 beneficiaries.
Furthermore, government has in place a special technical team to evacuate waste from the ship, supply potable water and remove polluted oils, among other things. It was disclosed that some 11000 Cameroonians have been recruited to work as volunteer in the ship throughout the ship’s stay in the country.
Speaking during an official reception of the faith-based organisation at the seaport, the Managing Director of Mercy Ships, Warrie Blackburn, expressed gratitude to Cameroon’s First Lady, Chantal Biya, for coming to the aid of patients to alleviate suffering. Apart from surgeries, the expected 5000 patients will be treated in the area of obstetric fistula, ophthalmic, orthopaedic, dental, and palliative care. First treatment will begin in the first week of September. Between now and first week of September, the healthcare mission will be setting up equipments, arranging wards while preparing to begin.
Private hospital ship will also improve the local healthcare infrastructure and build capacity by providing training opportunities for medical professionals along with curative surgical interventions.