Bello's Journey to Wellness — Part 1

June 8, 2017

This is part one of four to a composite story of what a typical patient at Meskine Hospital experiences. The name has been changed, but the story presents the huge difference in health care from our area of Cameroon and the West.

Part 1

This is the story of Bello, a patient at Meskine Hospital, and the challenges he and so many others in Cameroon have faced to find good medical care. The details of his story are quite different than anything one would hear in the United States, from his mode of transportation to the tasks his wife was responsible for during their stay. Over the next few weeks, we will walk through his hospital stay and discover why it has become his hospital of choice.

My name is Bello, and this is the story of my first encounter with Meskine Hospital.

I had been ill for 5 days with fever, headache, diarrhea and vomiting. I had tried traditional remedies locally with no results, including drinking water that had washed Koranic verses written in ink off of a wooden tablet. It was time to find a doctor.

My wife and I packed up clothing, linens, cooking pots, grain, dried leaves, and firewood and waited by the side of the road for a motorcycle or car taxi to pass by. After four hours, we saw a taxi we could signal to stop. We traveled 3 hours on dirt roads dodging pot holes and rocks in considerable heat (110F) because rolling down the windows would let in too much dust. My condition forced us to have many stops along the way, and it was a relief finally to pull up in front of Meskine Hospital.

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