Please Nelly i will like to know in details about this hospital you are talking about and where it is located.

From what you talked about your age i should be about 16 years older than you and from my childhood i have never experienced such mode of sterilisation in Cameroon. I have several medical friends and our NGO even have a Nursing Aids School in Limbe known as Shoreline Trust Resouce Vocational Training Center and apart from running the Journal i was teaching the nutrition class while the other nursing courses where handled by nurses. I also had a health page in my journal. I have had a tooth extraction in Limbe hospital and filling in Buea hospital. Before i left the country i was about starting a radio health program with the lady in charge of the Buea Health Center. I have been the Public Relations Officer for Garden of Eden Institute for Natural Medicine and even that is not done in their lab. This is to tell you how close i have been to the health sector in Cameroon in some Urban and rural settings.

I once had a wound stitched when i was 15years in Tiko, i have taken care of patients in hospitals in Buea some were operated upon or accident cases and did not experience this. My sister like you had a biopsy and it was done in Muyuka by Dr Emmanu although hers was cancerous but there was nothing as such. Even in rural settings like Manyemen, big babangi,Bambili i had Dr friends and never seen or heard of such. I'm talking about the eighties and downwards, it then beats me that such should happen in this modern time. even my mom is above 70 years i have not heard her mention this but that they sterelise by boiling. In fact she even gave birth to her third child by herself in the house and that's how she sterelised the equipment she used.

Making this comment i've also discussed with other Cameroonians some even older and one a Physician here in the US and who had practiced in Nigeria, Manyemen and was also the Dr in Palmol,Lobe these are rural areas in Cameroon. He said talk about recycling gloves yes but this your story is not true and wished he could address this issue with you directly while the rest actually asked if you are really talking about Cameroon? and term it a gimmick.

Another point i wish to state that nursing already is a vocation and career. Not everyone necessaryly have to go to University to pursue a career that's why we have vocational or professional education, there too there are stages from Ordinary diploma to what ever level depending on the opportunities and decision of the individual. So i don't think such a person who persue such education should be banished a 'school drop out' The term is for those without any career or profession.

'In Cameroon, those who go to nursing schools are not the brightest of students. They are students that have dropped out of normal school usually because they cannot keep up with intellectual challenges. When they leave such schools it is almost certain they will never attend any refresher course. No wonder our mortality rate is so high! '

Honestly speaking i disagree with the above point totally. This is the error most parents make, not every person is cut out by nature for general education. And this is one of the notions Cameroonian hold that i have been sensitising about. Most Cameroonians hold pursuing technical or vocational education means the child is not intellectually strong and i am surprise some one like you too cling to that belief. Just like others think if one is not a Science student and do Arts subjects you are academically weak.

In one of my programs i interviewed this young boy a science student whom after his A'levels decided to study wielding and insisted to go to Cameroon Opportunity Industrialisation Center (COIC) because no matter your level of education to digress to some careers you need to start from the basics. I guess as you know the entry into COIC is First School Leaving Certificate. This is a way to prevent dropouts in the society and encouraging economic independence.

This is a vocational school and the entire idea and concept originated from America by Rev. Dr Leon Hope Sullivan of Philadelphia. His vision was to improve on the lives of the black community, through training and sustainable organisation development setting up Opportunities Industrialisation Centers (OIC)in the 1970s. Though it all started in the 1960s when he decided to combat employment discrimination in Philadelphia. Today,known as OIC International they have centers worldwide. In Cameroon it was introduced by Pa Kome Ebong who had something like that in Sierra Leone and after several delibrations the Cameroon government signed the protocol agreement with OIC International on June 26th 1986 for the establishment of COIC. So do you consider Trainees of this Institution as ' Dropouts?'

This boys'mom had been the Provincial Delegate of Women Empowerment and Family, he had siblings in the University but from childhood he developed this passion from a grand uncle. So his family was against it, they looked at it to be debasing, they had in mind Engineering, Medical field but he stood his ground. After his one year trainning he has set up his own workshop and have employed others. He says he now assist his siblings even those still in the University. Today he is an employer and independent. His regrets is that he wished to go further but Cameroon lack such higher Institutions in his field.

Another guy graduated with a law degree and even started practicing but he had to travel to the US and he was adviced to do nursing for it paysoff in the US, he then attended our Nursing Aid Center and when he was graduating the Assistant Senior Divisional Officer who presided was his classmate in the University and he personally congratulated this friends bravery and decision to begin again.

Nelly my sister in this world we are born with varied talents and i know of children whose parents forced them in regular schools and since that was not their vocation were labeled to be unintelligent but those who retraced their steps and identified themselves in their right vocation do excel. Let me remind you, the nursing especailly midwifery and teaching profession used to be one of those prestigious jobs. The nurses in particular in the proper anglo- saxon immaculate white outfit impressed so many to get in to the field. Locally and ironically every medical person in white out fit is called a Dr because of the general belief that they treat. Again they have different stages in the Nursing field and in Cameroon they have - Nursing Aids, Diplome and Degree Nursing.

Mark you there are stories of some people who never went into University or graduated from one but have come up with great discoveries and intellectual pieces or are celebrites today. For instance the Bill Gate of Microsoft you hear about never graduated from university as a young teenagers Bill Gates and Paul Allen ran a small company called Traf-O-Data and sold a computer to the city of Seattle that could count city traffic? You can search him in goggle. So how will you term him - a dropout? Note how much employment opportunities this company has brought to the world today.

I equally want to point out that those in some of this technical and vocational professions are known as job creators while those who follow the general or standard education are job seekers. Professions like Mechanics, Wielding, Carpentry, Electricity,Building, Catering, etc after trainnng they can be self employed the reason why more of such institutions are coming up in Cameroon and females too have embraced it.

From my view point this statement in your post - ' We Need The Will' - We have Cameroonians that work for NASA. There are hundreds and hundreds of Cameroonian Cardiovascular surgeons, internists, neurosurgeons, in the diaspora'' and this -'Almost ninety percent of the nursing staff in hospitals and clinics through out the country are school drop outs. Most doctors are empty heads that bribed to get into training schools.' kind of contradict somewhat.

Again if i may ask when they carried out the biopsy how did they sterelise the equipment? Is it a different hospital that you went for the dressing.? I some times warm pins with fire as a means of sterelisation at home when like i am trying to clean fish and the fins mistakingly pricks me. A piece usual stay inside and the place swells up. To take this piece out i warm a pin as sterilisation measures before pricking the place.

Tell me about bribery and corruption, human rights abuse and violation, exploitation, lack of Ultra modern equipment, poor legislature and policies, i will agree with you intoto but this No.

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Dear Cecile, i understand your position because you have worked in and out of hospitals. I am sure therefore that you have seen the good as well as the bad side of hospitals in Cameroon. I will start by saying that what the nurse at that hospital was strange. I am sure I made mention of that in the original article because I said 'even by Cameroon standards, that is so outdated.' Which is why I left the clinic. And to answer your question, I did the biopsy in another hospital but had to travel so my doctor referred me to a doctor at that clinic. When I got there, the doctor was out and the nurse had to change the dressing.

You must also agree with me that most of the students who attend some lay nursing schools usually get in through bribes and that succeeding in those schools is usually not through merit but through bribery. I say this because I have come in close contact with students of some of these institutions.

You also know that getting into medical school in Cameroon is largely by corruption. Take the case of the 2007 students' strike at the university of Buea because students who didn't even take the exams had their names on the final list. When I said empty headed doctors, I did not mean the entire corps of medical doctors but those who bribe to find themselves into medical and do not have the brains to survive.

The article did not mean to say that there aren't any good doctors in Cameroon. The point being made was that corruption even in a field so sensitive was rife and that people pay for it with their lives. My grandfather died out of negligence at a hospital. A colleague of mine died out of negligence in a hospital. On a number of occasions I have seen how nonchalant hospital staff can be and I know some of it can be attributed to low pay, lack of training and lack of inspiration at the job.

Health services in Cameroon are not what they should be. The system is functioning but on meagre resources and with a lot of neglect. That is what I was trying to portray in that article.

My dear Nelly, i will still like to know of that hospital and where it is located. Yes, i know that some medical practitioners can be nonchalant and there is also negligence to the extent that a Dr forgets cotton or something in a persons' stomach after an operation, i knew of a woman who died like that.

Even so, i know many embrace the profession not because they have the calling but just mainly as a means to make ends meet as such they are not dedicated. But then i still find it had to belief the aspect of sterilisation you mentioned. Because with that you don't need to be trained in the medical profession to have the insight and know -how to sterilisation for dressing a wound.

Growing, it is normal to have a first aid kit with alcohol, iodine, the blue medicine we call ink, scissors, cotton, gauze etc and as i said, using alcohol to clean the scissors is enough if it can't be boiled.

I also want you to note that every where in this world there is what they call 'medical mishaps' even here in the US you read stories of a nurse giving overdose medications to children or patients. There is even a story i followed on TV of a woman who had twins -boys and during circumcision the Dr mistakenly burnt out his entire penis. According to the childs mom she understoood circumcision was carried out by using knife not burning.

The mother was then adviced to raise this boy as a girl, but although dressed or treated like a girl this child had the tendency of acting like a boy. Even though a Psychologist and a Transexual Specialist were consulted, this child came to learn the truth and he decided to change back to be a man.

His twin brother was somehow traumatised and committed suicide later, the male-female-male had gotten married but ofcourse he could never make love to a woman or father a child as such, still developed problems and life to him became a lot more complicated, he then killed himself too. So because of that medical error this couple lost their only children.

I have come across some childre here who have what is known as 'down syndrome' in Cameroon we refer to them as fools, or speech problem but this children were delivered normal some think is the medication they give them like certain vaccines that cause all this. Well medical it is known that if women get to a certain age they are likely to give birth to such children but these children have young mothers. Unlike what i've encountered in Cameroon, i have seen a handful of Cameroonians here with such children.

All the best.