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USA-Based Medics Offer Free Consultations, Medications 

By Francis Tim Mbom

A team of five USA-based medics, July 11, wrapped up a free consultation exercise at the Limbe Regional Hospital that started on June 29 at the Tiko General Hospital and Fobete Clinic.

Dr. Tientcha with a patient in Limbe

The team leader, Dr. Rachel Kientcha-Tita, a US trained Cameroonian physician/pharmacist based in Houston, told The Post that for their five days in Tiko, they saw an average of 150 patients a day. "We had to cut short the Limbe trip to three days because we got overwhelmed by the number of patients we saw in Tiko," she said.

Dr. Kientcha said they had planned to consult patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and other related diseases that are mostly common with the elderly. But, she said, from their consultations they discovered that there were a lot of patients with several different types of skin diseases.

"Before I left Cameroon, I used to know about ‘cam no go’ (body itches) that I thought had long disappeared. These are things that in future we are going to get ourselves better prepared so that we can handle," she said. Besides, she said there seems to be a high number of Cameroonians suffering from gastritis, judging from the patients she saw.

She said she could not really tell the cause but was of the opinion that the high in-take of alcohol by many could be a reason. She also said, the fact that people tend to take medications, especially pain killing drugs on less filled bowels, could be one other reason because these medications tend to erode the linings of the intestines.

She advised that patients need to eat well before they take their medications and not hurl them into an empty stomach. She also advised that patients with high blood problems need regular checks and follow-ups in order to stay healthy. Dr. Kientcha said their mission dubbed the "Cameroon Medical Mission 2011" was the fruit of a USA-based NGO, the African Women’s Development Foundation, AWDF, with Lady Kate Atabong Njeuma as President.

She said they were just the first team of the mission and that a second team will be in Cameroon soon with more doctors. According to her, the second team shall share out medical equipment to 10 hospitals across the Southwest Region. The Director of the Regional Hospital, Dr. Thompson Kinge, said it was an opportunity for many patients to benefit from free services and medications.

"I think the mission of AWDF is very commendable because most often we have patients who have cases that can only be referred for treatment abroad and which many do not usually have the means. But Lady Kate, Dr. Tientcha and their colleagues have carried everything from the US to the patients here for free," he said.

One of the beneficiaries, Cletus Isambe, said: "I have consulted and I have been given medicines for free of which I think would have cost me some FCFA 20,000 if I had to buy them on my own," he said.

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