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Sangmelima Referral Hospital Is Operational!

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Work is almost complete at the Sangmelima Regional Hospital, SRH, in the Dja and Lobo Division of the South Region. Construction on the six-hectare land in the forest of Bitom neighbourhood was launched on December 13, 2007, and was due 18 months. As time elapsed, nothing seemed to be happening. The wait became longer, with tempers flaring.

Misunderstanding stole the show, with accusations and counter accusations between the contractors and the construction committee. But the Minister of Public Health and the contractor, Bati Service/HILD International, remained steadfast. The initial FCFA 4 billion project gradually consumed about FCFA 20 billion as the contract timeframe kept expanding.

 The pace later changed, and on March 20, 2014, Decree No. 2014/101 creating and organising the functioning of the hospital was signed by the Head of State, Paul Biya. The Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang, on June 11, 2014, appointed Dr Joseph Alou’ou Ze as pioneer Director General of the Sangmelima Referral Hospital. On August 20, 2014, Dr Alou’ou Ze took the reins of the health structure and since then, the outlook of the hospital has changed. Its doors were opened to the public in December 2014 for basic health care. It was on January 12, 2015 that the hospital became fully operational. By May 14, 2015, activities at the hospital had turned full circle. Andre Omgba, a follow-up engineer with SRH told CT that an assessment of the provisional reception of the health structure was carried out. Work is complete at 98 per cent.
Sophisticated Equipment

There is no gainsaying that the Category 2 hospital prides itself as the most equipped in the country. The eye that sees will testify. Glossy are the walls, and so is the inside. The outstanding structure hosting the Sangmelima Referral Hospital, SRH, in the hitherto forest-like village of Bitom, some 3.5 km from the town of Sangmelima in the Dja and Lobo Division of the South Region, is more of an architectural jewel.

 sangmelimaBut more outstanding is its inside, owing to its caliber of equipment. Experts will testify that the Category 2 hospital, according to Cameroon’s public health standards, has equipment that goes beyond its level. A Category 2 hospital has the rank of a Central Hospital. A guided tour of SRH reveals its outstanding eight wards – out patient consultation, X-ray, laboratory, hospitalisation, mortuary, surgery rooms, and support services like cookery, sterilisation and laundry. The reception, registration and teller services may reflect other hospitals around the country, but beyond those services lies something distinct; common in terms of service quality, but outstanding in terms of work tools.

Primo is the medical laboratory. The testing and observatory medical laboratory rooms are crowd-pulling, with technicians waiting to explore 21st Century equipment. Mr. Njoya has worked in almost all hospitals in Yaoundé. He admits that he could not resist picking up a job with SRH after seeing the equipment the hospital boasts. Being among pioneer laboratory technicians in the country, his dream has come true. The dermatology, immune serology, anatomy, diagnostics selection, equipment lavatory, biochemistry and cold rooms of the laboratory have irresistible third generation working tools.

 The imagery or X-ray service is full of state-of-the-art equipment. Dr Marie Delliane says fantastic amongst all is the acquisition of the 16 Barret Scanner that is not found in any other hospital in Cameroon. Scanners are like computers and those with 6,8,10 and 16 slice capability have made impact on the role of ICT in the diagnostic radiology department. Although 32, 40 and 64 slice scanners are to be acquired soon, few hospitals around the world have been able to acquire them with the 16 slice scanner en vogue, though not yet in Cameroon. Experts say scanners that acquire a great number of simultaneous slices have an advantage in terms of z-axis geometric efficiency.

This is because with narrow slice widths, a wider total collimation can be used. The dark room of the imagery service is full of new technology, prominent among which are third generation echography and panoramic dental machines. The one unit for all digital radiography/fluoroscopy needs, the Juno DRF commonly referred to as the 2-in-1, is in no other hospital in the Central Africa sub-region, going by information garnered at the SRH. However, the hospital is proud to have this latest technology that increases room utilisation with its dual imaging mode and unique open access design. Thanks to this machine, patients can have X-rays carried out on their skulls, thorax/chests, abdomen, spine, pelvis, upper/lower abdomens and tomography. Imagery service technician, Patrick Noah, holds that Juno DRF is a remote-controlled flat detector system which facilitates clinical flexibility, patient comfort and increases work performance.

 Like the word indicates, the emergency unit of the SRH has been modeled to suit its name. Everything equipment and personnel has been tailored to satisfy and comfort ailing patients. “Every machine in this unit is new and modern and rare to find in any other hospital,” stressed Leon Bertrand Bivina Bivina. Staring visitors in face are also latest generation monitors, syringe hangers, drip pumps, air flow control and most importantly, the defibrillators for life-threatening cardiac dysrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia. Also, particular attention has been paid to the access path to the emergency unit.

Technology has made things easy and staff of the surgery ward are proud to have some of the latest telemedicine surgery machines. Hospitalization rooms have been made comfortable with alarm bells ready to alert nurses in case of need. Meanwhile, the neonatal section has been beefed up with sophisticated incubating machines for suffering babies alongside room purifying Dop Air equipment for safe environment.




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Passionate Cameroonian blogger, Critical Writer, Web developer and IT consultant at LechTech Web Design Agency ( CEO, founder and Editor-in-Chief at Camer infoline.

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