Georges Mbella/Cameroon Tribune
The inauguration of the Sangmelima Referral Hospital yesterday by Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, ushers in a new era for the town’s modernity and affordable healthcare for the population.
The bright sunshine that shone yesterday, July 23, 2015, over the town of Sangmelima, headquarters of the Dja and Lobo Division in the South Region, was full of good tidings. It enabled the 2,000-strong crowd attending the inauguration of the Sangmelima Referral Hospital to marvel at the splendor of the facility that has emerged in the Etoune Nlinga neighbourhood; 3.5 km from the town’s centre.
A guided tour was the opportunity for the Head of State’s representative, Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang, alongside over 10 cabinet ministers and other dignitaries, to acknowledge the magnificence of the ultramodern healthcare structure that has nothing to envy from other institutions of its type in the sub-region. Sangmelima’s new architectural jewel, in the words of Health Minister, André Mama Fouda, is worth FCFA 17 billion and built on 2,200 square metres of its five-hectare land.
The cream-white coloured and red-tiled-roof one-storey building is constructed following a pattern that allows easy access by staff and patients to consultation, emergency, hospitalisation and maternity wards. With a hospitalisation capacity of 115 rooms, the Sangmelima Referral Hospital comes as one of President Paul Biya’s Greater Achievements plan to remedy the health challenges of the population in the region. The high morbidity rate caused notably by the prevalence of malaria, typhoid fever, dysentery and measles, as well as a high mortality rate provoked by HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular diseases and tuberculosis, amongst others, have been a nightmare to the population of the South Region.
The new Referral Hospital is therefore seen as a blessing as its eight blocks, still sparkling from cleanliness, provide services not only in general medicine, but also in other specialties such as pediatrics, ophthalmology, gyneco-obstetrics and several others. Proper diagnostics is ensured by state-of-the-art equipment in the different sections. A six-bed emergency unit, four modern surgical wards, a pharmacy with its storage room, a kitchen and its 100-seat refectory, all make the Second Category hospital a magnificent gift and lifeline to the people of the region because its affordable services.
In effect, FCFA 2,250 is the fee paid for consultation by the four general medical practitioners, while seeing any of the eight specialists costs FCFA 4,500. More so, a patient pays FCFA 10,000 per room per day for hospitalization, which includes bathing by nurses, feeding and laundry. It was therefore not surprising to hear one of the elite of the Dja and Lobo Division, Jean Louis Beh Mengue, tell the guests and crowd that they all have a responsibility to manage the hospital and give it all the care because President Paul Biya had conferred it upon them.