The Minister of Public Health on February 22, 2016, opened an international conference on hand surgery in Douala.
The hand is the main active part of the body. It is the key natural work tool that plays an important role in daily life, thus has to be taken proper care of. Hand deformation is common in Cameroon, resulting from accidents, infections or genetic malformation.
However, Dr Hugues Tiemdjo, a Cameroonian who studied in the country, Mali, Senegal and France, specialised in hand surgery. He has returned home with a wealth of experience to restore flexibility in patients’ hands through surgery. It is for this reason that he invited professionals from Africa and Europe to share on the topic through the first ever International Hand Surgery Conference in Cameroon to sensitise the public on the possibility of rendering “useless” hands useful.
The congress, presided by the Minister of Public Health, André Mama Fouda, brought together medics from Algeria, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Madagascar, Morocco and Senegal, to confirm that hand surgery is possible in Cameroon. Mama Fouda, who saluted the private initiative of Dr Hugues Tiemdjo, said it was his wish that Cameroon will soon becomes a medical destination for patients from other countries to fly in for treatment and that Cameroonians will no longer be evacuated abroad for the same cause.
A Physiotherapist with the Buea Regional Hospital, Asongafac, attested that the international congress was necessary to convince Cameroonians and Africans of the reality of hand surgery. She advised that children born with hand malformations should be operated upon at a tender age to avoid further complications. On his part, Dr Hugues Tiemdjo reassured hand deformation victims and the public that hand surgery was a reality in Cameroon. He urged medical students to get interested in the speciality in order to restore flexibility in “useless” hands.