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Does this happen only in Cameroon?

Cameroon is in the heart of Africa and a developing country just like any other. But something caught my attention recently. Almost ninety percent of the nursing staff in hospitals and clinics through out the country are school drop outs. Most doctors are empty heads that bribed to get into training schools. It makes me wonder what is going on in the head of authorities and those in charge. I mean, joke with other sectors but not with the health and lives of human beings.

Sometime ago, I had a biopsy done on my breast because I had a lump in it. Thank God, it was a benign tumor but the experience revealed to me the incapability of hospital staff in the country. I give you an example. I needed to have the dressings changed on the cut. So I go to the hospital and find this nurse who takes me into a room. She brings out a pair of scissors, a box of match, a candle, gauze and plaster and says 'let me sterilize the scissors.' She lights the candle and starts burning the pair of scissors. I was so shocked and afraid that I told her I was going to make a call and never went back. I want to tell you that even for a developing country, that was completely out of date. But because people like her dropped out school, they can afford to do that.

In Cameroon, those who go to nursing schools are not the brightest of students. They are students that have dropped out of normal school usually because they cannot keep up with intellectual challenges. When they leave such schools it is almost certain they will never attend any refresher course. No wonder our mortality rate is so high!

For doctors, it is almost the same thing. There are two schools of medicine in Cameroon and people don't get in there with their brains but with their pockets. What do you expect from such? Mediocrity. It is said an I wonder, does this happen in Cameroon only?


Farah Samin's picture

It's horrific!!

Dear Nelly,

This is really terrible. I heard this things to happen in some other countries, but this is really unbelieveable. Thanks that you wrote about this. It will give us some ideas about Cameroon. Developing countries people should become more concern and the should encourage each and everyone to work together.

Hope one day we will get a world free from all this destruction.

Farah Samin


Nelly2.0's picture

We all do!

Dear Farah,

thank you very much for commenting on my contribution. It really is a horrible thing. To think that authorities don't even care about the lives they put in danger with such deviant practices. We all are praying for a better tomorrow, we all do hope for a world free from all this destruction.

ps:do you want to join my community? I hope you do. I am sending you a friend request

efe's picture

my dear neighbour

I am calling you neighbour because Nigeria the country of my birth is right beside yours. I knew we shared some stuff but i didn't know it extended to the health care sector. I am afraid to announce that in Nigeria, the health sector is in no better shape. It could even be worse.

Nelly2.0's picture

I know

thank you so much for your comment Efe. I love you name. Are you Igbo? I hope we can be friends so we can talk about all the similarities our countries share. I'm sending you a friend request

yudith listiandri's picture


We have here some issues in health sector of Indonesia. Doctors and nurses are no longer considered as a savior. Of course, some particular doctors are the angels in disguise, but the main issue is "because they have spent so much money in medical faculty, they have to gain more and more money". This was a disaster for marginal people. Poor people who are ill and come to the hospital must pay the administration first before doctors work some procedure on them. If they can not pay it, they can be rejected by the hospital, or forced to wait for a while. Sometimes, they encourage sick people to experience a surgery that they really don't need, just to get more money. That's terrible.
Some wealthy people in Indonesia would rather go to Singapore for professional doctors, or just to do a medical check up. Poor people would rather choose traditional or alternative cure, sometimes rely on mystical things, sometimes does not make any sense, sometimes even makes their lives in danger.
Also, we have issues in false medicament ...


Terry's picture

Shoking, to say the least!

I was reading your article with my mouth wide open because it is really shocking to hear that such things actually happen. I have not heard of it in Kenya, but i was told about an experience someone had in India of a doctor telling him that he became a doctor by experience and that he hadn't actually gone to school. We laughed about it, but when one actually takes time to think about it, it is horrific. We put our lives in the hands of these people, trusting that they know what they're doing and that they will make everything perfect.

There have been a few cases recently of some grave mistakes doctors have made in Kenya, especially in some big hospitals. A child died recently because a nurse gave him the wrong medication, others have had to seek medical attention abroad because of doctors' carelessness and the only solution they give is amputation of the limbs. This is really frightening to think about. We have bodies that are supposed to regulate such and i wonder, are they really doing their work, or have they all become corrupt. How can we deal with this corruption that is eating up Africa? We need to find a solution, and fast!

Terry Shiundu

Nelly2.0's picture

Amen to that sister!

Hi Terry,

We certainly do need to find a solution in Africa. I mean, the authorities can afford to be corrupt in other but for goodness sake not when it has to do with the lives of people.

Tell me something. So the Doctor actually said he learned from experience. I understand how that could be funny. I mean I laughed when I read it. It is funny, even though it is scary when you think about it. There are so many cases of people who die because of inadequate treatment, wrong treatment or no treatment.

Thanks a lot for your comment,

Susan's picture

I can't imagine but i do believe

I was really touched by your article Nelly.It is true that in developing world most of the services
are not upto date and this sends a message that there is no time to sit back and relax but to double
efforts.In Sudan things are not any better there are villages where people could hardly excess medical
services not mentioning the issue of qualified staff.I suppose our leaders should give more emphasis to
health sector because without healthy people there will be no healthy Nation.

Nelly2.0's picture


Hi Susan,
you are right when you say there is no strong nation without healthy people. It is something our leaders have yet to understand. I think the mortality rate in Africa can be reduced by half only if governments invested in the health sector. Thanks for your comment.


Carole's picture

Very very sad!!

Your story is disheartening. One would never imagine that in this 21st century with all the technology, leaders still do not care about their populace. What kind of policies are in place in your country concerning the Health sector? Are there NGOs and INGOs that are aware of these practices? What have they done so far?

Sorry for the many questions.We are the solution to many of our problems when we play an active role. It is not a very easy task to change a rotten system. Requires alot of brave people who are willing to make a difference and I think you are one of them. Sister, stand up for your rights now. We will give you support to save the lives of many innocent people.

All the best in this new journey,

cad_communication's picture

Not just in Cameroon

Not just in Cameroon. I think it is an African sydrome. For example, in ZImbabwe the University fees have been hiked to more than USD600 per semester and most Zimbabwe earn less than USD100 per month i.e. if they are lucky to get it. This means that those with money have higher chances of being trained as doctors, lawyers ect.
Chances are high that Zimbabwe will be like Cameroon in the next decade.


scholly's picture

objectivity is the best option

Hello Nelly,
We can not just conclude that in Cameroon most of our health practitioners are school drop outs or empty headed persons. there are some who are devoted in their jobs and who have the call in them and so choose to go for training in the nursing or medical profession .We should also understand that like in any other profession one must be trained for the purpose of perfections.If this your view is what is obtain then i will rightly condem the act and call on the goverment to make sure that only those who who are up to the task can go in for such jobs which have to do with the health of Human.Strict supervision should be taken all over the world so that we can get only the best persons to fit into specific jobs.We should bear in mind that each and every individual has specific talents.
Each and every individual should start examininig his or her(self)
best regards

Renee's picture


Hello ladies,

I think this is a vital conversation and I agree in essence with Scholly. Yes in many circumstances in the developing world nurses receive barely any training for their work in healthcare. But on the other hand don't you all suppose a lot of the time it's a question of professionalism? Nurses these days do not work because they feel they have a calling, they do it because it's a money maker. It's a guaranteed profession, people will always need health care.

I'm from Kenya and in my family all my aunties are traditional nurses (they work in the village with other women and provide services even though they have no training in Western medicine) and my mother is a trained and registered nurse. In case of midwifery for example I trust my aunties just as much as I do my mom because a lot of nursing is logic...hygiene, and the was to teat a patient.

My suggestion is that we ask instead why our nurses choose to neglect their patients? Why do they ignore the rules?

In Malawi the statistics are that for every nurse there are about 80 patients. How do these nurses manage? Is it really surprising that they do a bad job? It's far too much work!! In Kenya they still do a good job but they are so grumpy you'd never be comfortable around.

It's a catch 22. It all comes back to governments and economy. And in this case it's not just about Africa. Look at the healthcare system in the USA. To get reasonable care you have to pay through your nose. Same in Asia and especially here at home.

But again isn't it our responsibility? Nelly walked out of the examination room but didn't complain to the authorities. Didn't that nurse do the same thing to the next patient?

In solidarity, Renee.

Nelly2.0's picture

Sure, you are right!

Hi Renee,
Thanks for your comment. I understand when you say most nurses do not have the calling. They see it only as an income generating activity. But trust me when I say that the nursing system in Cameroon is designed in such a way that becoming a nurse is hardly a calling. Going to any of the numerous nursing schools in the country usually means you did not finish school. It usually means you had no other option in life.

I could not report to the authorities because the system itself does not support such complaints. That is a long story I'll rather not get into now. Suffices to say that the law and order system is probably the most corrupt in Cameroon. Rather what I did was do a program on hygiene in hospitals on the radio. The whole point in the issue is a revision of who is allowed to get into the medical field and how. I insist when I say that getting into the medical schools is not by brains but by bucks. And in the nursing schools, students bribe to get certificates.

In solidarity, Nelly

It is unbelievable to learn of such incidents that happens to some Countries . Health is very important to Human beings.You sympathise with the people of Cameroon. The Government of Cameroon is to blame for neglecting the Health Sector.
Of all the Government Institutions Health should be given priority.

Nelly Congratulations you were so cunning to do whatever you to get out of the situation.

The World should intervene and help Cameroon in the Health Sector before the situation gets out of hand.

WorldPulse please help Cameroon Women in the Activities of our Future Applicant to overcome that Health Sector problem.
The role that you will play GOD will reward you. If there are people who are in need of urgent assistance it Cameroon people

Thanks for your Cooperation.


TERESA KAGECHA i would like to use the new password and email to participate in the WORLDPULSE VIEWS - COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION MOBILISING

salamatu's picture

This is serious


This is serious, i thought it is only in Nigeria that people bribe their way through. The government of Cameroon and the people must ensure that issue of corruption is fought to the latter.

Things are bad in Nigeria but not as worse as this. Cameroonian government must rise up and address this challenge otherwise this misconduct would wipe away many of the country's citizens.


liberia unitewd youth for community safety and development's picture

olive johnson

Dear friends,
The commercail internet service had been down for the past two weeks now and they just finish with it yesterday so we were not able to reply or comments to the communication sent to us . How ever we experience this suitation that you face with today through violence agasint women most in my country by eletrate men and others educated fools .
Those things some as # Rape and abondoning childern.
In my sociate we are fighting hard to bring change to those problems , however many international organization has implemented programs that they feel can changes that dosn't happen i don't know why ? For my personel expereince they do not get to the communitee involve and found out what is effecting women and childern but the proposal will desinged
to convicnce the donors or orgainzations that will be willing to support this process the money will be used for the internal propose .
My hurried to fifty communitees that i traveled round the country is see many woman in the condition that had not be carter to some loose after given birth , some die when they are in the condition of given birth to baby , and many of them
who dose not have medical support has dicided to be engage in farming that will in able them to make their live easier to have their regular diet and dicided to sell this goods to help them buy or purchase their drugs
Many of them has not been able to send thier childerd to school at the result they have engage their childerd at age of thirteen to thirty_five years commercail loving ie chancing men to sleep with them for a little of notthing so the spread of disease is so high that is killing poeple slowly .
The LUYCD she is nor profit nor political organization we are please to inform you that the only way our net work can be strong it through spreading our view in our situation that we face with today we keep on sending you stories about every activities that we be into our country it will promote peace and coordination around the world so we are very sorry fr all the4 information you send we did't not tolk part so please do not let us out we hpoe to be one of your close networking tools .
We will send you pictures about our activities past and present work with us we are your friend donot feel discourace any
information we want to receive .
Olive Johnson

The Liberian United Youth for Community Safety and Development, INC.
Chief Executive Officer Mr. Fred C Johnson LUYCD representative of LUYCD to LDCs Conference in Istanbul from 7-13 may 2O11.
Ban ki –moon Call to work together for a better world

sunita.basnet's picture

It happened everywhere friend

Dear Nelly,
Your last sentence "There are two schools of medicine in Cameroon and people don't get in there with their brains but with their pockets " took my attention but believe me it happened even in my country. If you have money you can do everything in Nepal but there is no place for poor. we need to rise our voice for that also.
Don't worry we are together, lets rise our voice against it.
With Love

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Warm greetings!

We are thrilled to see that your story has ignited conversation, however, this group is not the appropriate forum. As we have explained in several places, this Group is reserved for weekly assignments, updates, and questions about Voices of Our Future only.

We will be unpublishing this entry from this group and moving it and the comments to your journal.

Thank you for understanding. Enjoy the rest the journey!


Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations


I'm indeed surprise!

Please Nelly i will like to know in details about this hospital you are talking about and where it is located.


Come to think of it.

I'm no Nurse or Medical practitioner but sure do have a knowledge about cut dressing.
I have had a stitched wound dressed and as a mother of five, i have been dressing my childrens naval or as Americans call it belly botton or dress up their wounds and belief you mean scissors is just necessary for cutting or triming the gauze and plaster or band. Normally to disinfect, medical alchohol we locally call sprite is used on a cotton to clean the affected area before applying any other medication for wounds, gauze and then plaster or band. This is for wounds but for dressing the naval, i just clean it daily with alchohol, then cover it up with gauze before banding it with bandage until it heals.

I usually apply some alchohol on my hands to disinfect and also clean the scissors with alcohol.
In hospitals Nurses are more cautious and put on gloves before cleaning but they always use alchohol to clean and disinfect. Even to inject, they first of all clean the place with alcohol before injecting.

So your story of gauze, candle, match box stuff i really just can't take it in.

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