Total pain is a reality in Cameroon, palliative Care should be a reality too.
In Cameroon, Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are currently booming. In Cameroon, cancer patients for example may benefit from surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. However, because the total cost of this care is at the expense of the patient, many patients abandon treatment.
In addition, the majority of cancer patients arrive late at the hospital, after their cancer has spread and is incurable.
Prioritising palliative care therefore is imperative.
Recently, Douala General Hospital began producing solution oral morphine to relieve the suffering of patients. With this in mind, Dr. Esther Dina Bell Mbassi Ndocko, a medical oncologist, led a training session on palliative care with a multidisciplinary group of experts. The group was organized under the auspices of the Littoral Regional Delegation of Health in local Hospital District Bonassama – Douala.
The session was aimed at professionals (doctors and paramedics), members of the community and representatives of civil society, social workers, traditional healers and psychologists.
The main purpose of the training was to create desire among workshop participants to be involved in the fight against ‘total suffering’.
The 34 participants from all expressed the desire to be to see the training become a permanent event.
The longer term goals set out by the expert group are for a semi-educational program for palliative care in all areas of health coastal region.
Satisfied with the training, the Director of the Hospital District Bonassama expressed the wish to host a hospital palliative care unit in his hospital.
The training has planted the seeds for palliative care to grow in Douala.