Modern Medicine available to the general public is mostly imported from Europe, mostly France.
For Americans visiting Cameroon it is recommended that you bring along you own brand of medications as regular US drugs are not commonly available in Cameroon pharmacies.
Some of the pharmacies in the various cities and towns in Cameroon are listed elsewhere on this site. Also the generally prescribed drugs and the diseases are listed alongside.
General traditional medicines focuses on the use of indigenious herbs or plant skins to produce some sort of concoctions use as treatment for most or all kinds of diseases. Those prescribing this herbs are general known as "Country doctors" which the term "Melicine man" is reserve for who combine this traditional health methods with the use of the occults for treating their patients.
One major challenge of the practice is that the field is not regulated and monitored. Damages done by some of these "un-trained " or inefficient medicine men goes untraced and without corrective measures put in place to enhance or modernize the practice. Basically, anyone can get up and put up a sign calling themselves a country doctor and nothing else is required of them.
Some of the herbs generally use in treatment and the diseases supposedly treated are listed elsewhere on this site.
Good quality hospitals in Cameroon health system can be found in the major cities of Cameroon particularly Douala and Yaounde, the Capital of Cameroon.
Famous amongst these hospital is the chain of Cameroon General Hospitals, Cameroon Reference Hospitals and the group of Cameroon Central Hospitals. This brand names are generally better staffed and than other hospitals.
A listing of the hospitals in these cities is provided elsewhere on this site.
The situation of hospitals in other Cameroon region is deplorable, more so in the rural areas. The medical professionals, doctors to patient ratio is a lamenting 1-to-40000.
The best known medical school in Cameroon is
the University of Yaounde I, Cameroon, Faculty of Biomedical Sciences,
famously known by its French acronym, CUSS,
for Centre Universitaire des Sciences de la Sante (CUSS),
Universite de Yaounde I, Faculte des Sciences Biomedicales
Centre Universitaire des Sciences de la Sante (CUSS).
B.P. 1364, Yaounde
Tel: +237 310 586, +237 2231 0661
Fax: +237 311 224.
Visit the Cameroon Medical school directory to learn more about the upcoming medical school initiatives in Cameroon and some of the private medical schools being promoted in Cameroon.
Being a tropical nation, Cameroonians are afflicted by the common tropical illnesses and diseases. Along the coastal regions of the country, especially Douala and the littoral province, Malaria is a very common disease.
The main spread of malaria is due to the bits of the malaria carrying mosquitoes in swaps and stagnating ponds in the region. Much has been done since the arrival of colonial masters in the region to conquer this disease. The ever evolving nature of the parasite to new drugs and the lack of funding on malaria research due to it low commercial potential makes this disease very elusive.
HIV and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a grave issue to the continent and Cameroon is no exception. Recently, much efforts have been put in place by Western nations to halt the spread of the disease.
Learn more about the diseases afflicting the people in Cameroon and surrounding by visiting this page.
Health insurance is almost none-existing in Cameroon. Generally, it falls upon family members to meet the cost of treatment. This often leaves families with huge debts and worsened financial burdens to bear and the consequences can be very severe - children being send out of schools, lack of food, and early marriages by young female family members.
Recently, the government has put in place a health care plan for its workers where by a percentage of the healthcare cost for ill civil servants is absorbed by the state. The private sector, in an effort to promote quality healthcare has come up with Health Management Organizations, HMO. These health management organizations have met with great success as it relies heavily on grassroots support to work. Health management Organizations are a bottom-up approach to the healthcare needs of Cameroonian.
Cameroon's health care field is suffering and there are fears that things are only getting worst. The professional doctor to patient ratio stands at 1- to -over 10000 in the major cities and 1 - to - over 40000 in the rural areas. A far cry from the World Health Organizations recommendations The following statistics will help you see why Cameroon' s healthcare is in such bad shape.
Lack of Properly Trained Medical Doctors
The up-to-recently sole medical school in Cameroon, CUSS of Yaounde I university, that trains and graduates Cameroonian medical doctors admits only 85 students per year, up from 45, from the over 1,500 qualified applicants sitting for the competitive entrance examination.
Mass Exodus of Cameroon Trained Medical Doctors
4000 practicing doctors in Cameroon were reported in Cameroon as of 2005 of which about 1,500 where employed by the state and private sector to preform administrative duties. While the number of recorded Cameroonian doctors practicing abroad was over 6,000. Poor Salaries and a lack of efficient integration or recruitment schemes from graduation to clinical practice is blamed. Some of the foreign practicing Cameroon civil servants have been found to still be on government payrolls decades after leaving the country. A computerization of the process will greatly reduce the waste of scares resource and efficiently allocate these to the proper sectors to improve the nations situation.
Lack of Funding by the State
Cameroon government's healthcare expenditure is less than 4.2% of the nations Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
Lack of Incentives to Stimulate The Private Sector.
The taxation system in Cameroon has been blamed by many as the reason for the lack of initiatives on the part of the private sector to invest in Cameroon healthcare.
Cameroon's First Lady Chantal Biya and Health goals.
Of all three First Ladies of Cameroon, the current First lady, Mrs. Chantal Biya has shown a keen desire to improving the healthcare situation and meeting the healthcare needs of the children of Cameroon.
Various humanitarian services have been set up by Madam Chantal BIYA:
The Chantal BIYA Foundation, (FCB );
Chantal Biya has made known that her mission is the sensitization of Cameroonians and the international community on the need to efficiently fight diseases, poverty and taking care of the disadvantaged ones.
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