Jikijem Baptist Health Center
Before the creation of a Baptist health facility in Oku-Jikijem, the people had sometimes benefitted from the quality services offered in Banso Baptist Hospital and Mbingo Baptist Hospital. With the constant outbreak of epidemics like measles which attacked children in the early 1960s, the people started thinking of the possibility of having a health facility in their area which will reduce the cost of transportation and other expenses incurred when they had to move to other towns like Banso and Mbingo to get medical care.
In 1965, missionaries based in Banso at the time received a letter from the Jikijem people reminding them of the promise to open a dispensary for them by the Field Secretary of their Mission. The people received a reply that same year indicating the requirements for a maternity centre and a dispensary to include the availability of a road to the site and suitable buildings provided by the people to host the services. In December of 1965, the people invited the missionaries to visit Jikijem and select a site for the maternity and dispensary so that work could begin. The Fon of Oku at the time offered a large fairly-leveled land in a valley near a stream called Tolon. The missionaries again promised to send staff to begin work as soon as the buildings were ready.
From January to March 1966, a three-room dispensary building was completed. In May that same year, the missionaries had their first ever Saturday clinic at Tolon during which 400 clients were consulted and a good number treated. The Saturday clinics were later scheduled to hold once in every two months. An average of 300 clients were consulted during every visit.
There was a lot of talk but little progress was made on the two buildings; the maternity building and the midwife’s house. In June 1967, the missionaries held a meeting with the village leaders to explain that a midwife had been posted to Tolon-Jikijem, but could only begin work as soon as the two buildings would be completed. With this, the people redoubled their efforts and in two weeks the midwife’s house was at the roofing level while the maternity building had been completed and roofed. The other part of the work like cementing of the floors and plastering was done by the missionaries.
Finally, the first doctor’s support visit to Jikijem took place on October 14, 1967. The pioneer staff, Mrs. Tawah Rachael (Chief of Post), Mrs. Yang Lydia (Ward Maid) and Mr. Mbunda Lucas (Night Watchman) started work on this day. The official opening of the health post took place on November 18, 1967.
The health centre’s Outpatient Department building was later on constructed in 1999 and co-funded by the CBC Health Services and the community.
In 2015, the staff strength of Jikijem Baptist Health Centre was 23 including one screener. An average of 400 clients are seen every month. The health centre operates on a three-shift system; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. The patients seen come from Jikijem itself and other neighbouring villages like Elak, Mboh, Ngashie, Kevu and Ngham. The supervising hospital, Banso Baptist Hospital undertakes doctor’s support visit to the health centre every other month.
Outpatient Department Services: The Outpatient Department (OPD) services here include the following;
- General Consultation: Patients are consulted at the health centre on daily basis. The common ailments seen are respiratory tract infections, malaria, skin diseases, gastro enteritis, hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, conjunctivitis and glaucoma. The screener consults an average of 15 clients per day.
- Eye Care Services: The health centre has an equipped eye department run by a single eye staff. The department does daily consultation and regular health education both in the health centre and in the community. Any complicated cases like glaucoma are referred to Banso Baptist Hospital for operation. The department sees about five clients every day.
- Laboratory Department: The well-equipped lab is manned by two staff. The common tests done here include malaria test, syphilis test, blood grouping, HIV test, hemoglobin, tuberculosis test and typhoid test.
- Treatment Room: This is where minor surgeries like circumcision and suturing are done. Wound dressing is also done here.
- Maternal Child Health: The services offered here are family planning, antenatal clinic, deliveries (an average of 25 deliveries conducted every month), infant welfare clinic, Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI) and Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV (Option B+ and Partner Notification).
- Other OPD services are Chaplaincy with one chaplain who takes care of the psycho-spiritual needs of the clients and staff, Security Department run by two guards who safe-guard clients and staff as well as their belongings and the Housekeeping Department that has two housekeepers charged with the responsibility to ensure the cleanliness of the entire health centre.
Inpatient Department: The health centre does admissions. There are 37 hospital beds spread across five wards namely; Women’s Ward, Men’s Ward, Children’s Ward, Private Ward and Maternity Ward.
Location: Jikijem Baptist Health Centre is situated in Tolon at the Western part of Jikijem village in Oku Subdivision of Bui Division in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. It is found in the Jikijem Health Area which falls under the Oku Health District. The village has a suitable climate for farming and beekeeping. The land is well drained and fertile with a stream flowing in front of the health centre.
Chief of Centre: (+237) 674816971
Security Post: (+237) 677768042