Meskine Doctor Report — Part 1

June 8, 2018

In the fall of 2017, two European doctors came to Meskine Hospital to examine potential cleft lip and other head and neck surgical cases. Meskine Hospital staff strives to take excellent care of their patients and there is a supernatural unity among the staff. The doctors had so much to say that their report will be split into two posts. To keep the power of their words, no grammar or sentence structure has been changed except to clarify in parentheses. Needless to say we are proud of the employees and the work they do at Meskine Hospital.

“The welcome is a warm one. When we turn into the courtyard of the hospital of Meskine in the Extreme North Region of Cameroon, a region which was zone “rouge” (red: high security risk) until several months ago, there are smiling faces and helping hands to unload our car from the instruments and materials we brought with us for a day of ENT-consultation.

The Administrator of the hospital, and his team are obviously glad to see us and they are well prepared: 17 patients wait for us. It is not the first time that otorhinolaryngologist Dr. Max does ENT-consultation here as there is no permanent ENT-doctor in the region - but more than enough patients in need of specialist medical care: adults with huge goiters, tiny children with cleft palates, patients with tumors, sinusitis and ear infections. For them to see a head surgeon and to get the examination and operations needed it would take a tiring and expensive 12-hour trip to Ngaoundéré.

I have never been to Meskine before, and while Dr. Max starts the consultation, the Administrator gives me the honor of an extensive 3-hour tour through the hospital. We start in the busy waiting area, where roundabout 50 patients sit and wait and he introduces me to the three doctors in general medicine that see the patients this morning.

The Administrator explains the way a patient takes through the hospital: patients first pay for seeing either a nurse or a doctor, are then being examined and, after that, depending on the diagnostics that are needed, are going to the laboratory, the ultrasound, the radiography. We visit each unit and the professionals there are all more than willing to show me their instruments and materials. We have interesting discussions, they share their critical as well as their positive thoughts with me, we have a laugh. There is an atmosphere of purposefulness and team-play in the air and at the same time people have a good sense of humor. “

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