The movement of people in and out of the Mother and Child Centre of the Chantal Biya Foundation (CBF) in Yaounde is a non-stop scenario. The medical team is available 24/7, that is all day and all night with n closing or stopping. This is to ensure that they provide the required medical care needed by any child or mother that comes to the hospital with a health problem.
It is a routine scene that takes place at the Mother and Child Centre of the CBF. Babies crying, medical staff on hand to attend to patients on external consultation as well as those hospitalised. Women are seen moving from one angle of the hospital to another, at times carrying their babies or a list of drugs to buy. There are also those seen with plates of food or things to tidy up. Scores of women are also seen with their babies waiting at the external consultation box to see a medical doctor. There are about five medical doctors waiting to consult sick children and women.
The head nurse at the orientation unit of the Mother and Child Centre of the Foundation, Raymond Tchachi says in a day, the hospital receives over 80 babies (0-14 years) with health problems amongst which are severe malaria, diarrhoea, malnutrition, severe anaemia, heart and respiratory related problems as well as sickle cell. Upon arrival at the hospital, the babies go through a registration process at the orientation box, during which FCFA 2,000 is paid as consultation fees. During the registration process, the baby is also being identified and health situation evaluated through the taking of certain parameters such as the temperature and weight. Thereafter, the baby is sent to see a medical doctor for further examination and diagnostics depending on primary observation done by nurses at the orientation boxes.
The head nurse however noted that the above procedure is only respected when it is not an emergency case. According to him, when an emergency case arrives, the team on duty directly takes the patient to the emergency unit for treatment to commence. It is after this, that parents of such cases go through the registration and identification process. Worthy to note is that the FCFA 2,000 paid as consultation fees is valid for all patients for a period of one month. The hospital also receives babies born of women suffering from HIV. These babies are treated in a special emergency unit.
In a situation where the patient is hospitalised, FCFA 20,000 is paid as hospitalisation fees for a period of one to 10 days. During the hospitalisation period, the hospital provides breakfast and lunch for free to all patients. Parents take care of their children’s medication and laboratory bills. In a situation where a family cannot afford drugs and other hospital bills, the case is sent to the social service of the hospital, which will proceed with the purchase of drugs and other hospital bills. The Foundation since its creation in 1994, has continued to raise national and international awareness on the fight against poverty, disease, misery and all types of exclusion in urban and rural areas. That is why the Mother and Child Centre of the Foundation continues to assist poor patients while easing hardship.