Kouhouat Baptist Health Center
The people of Kouhouat had a relationship with the CBC Health Services long before formal talks to open a health post began. Some of them travelled to Banso Baptist Hospital for treatment and the North American Baptist Missionary, Sister Kathryn Kroll was keen on reaching out to the village, spending time there during her holidays as Principal of the CBC Private Training School for Health Personnel which today is called the Baptist Training School for Health Personnel. She had first-hand knowledge about the health challenges the people faced.
On the 12th of October, 1990 the people of Kouhouat submitted an application for a CBC health centre through Mr. Wirba Samuel to the CBC Health Services. They later followed up with another request in 1991 informing the acting Director of Health Services, Dr. Jerry Fluth that they had built a suitable structure and were ready to equip the building to the specific requirements of a health centre. In his reply, Dr. Jerry Fluth informed them that the project could not go ahead due to insuffient staff and inadequate resources. These same challenges, generally, hindered expansion in to new areas at the time.
In November 1991, Mr. Gwagsi Stephen, Life Abundant Primary healthcare programme (LAP) Coordinator for the Western Region visited Kouhouat village for feasibility studies. In February 1992, he made an official visit with a team that included Mr. Wirba Samuel and Mr. Tarla Godfrey. They were received some 3 km from the village by a dozen escorts and heralded into the village. The event drew natives from places as far as Libreville in Gabon, Yaounde and Douala. A sum of 314,500 FCFA was raised on the spot to complete the first structure.
A Health Post was started in 1992 on the recommendation of the visiting delegation, and given the enormous progress registered it was upgraded to a health centre on April, 30 1994. By this time, 295 children had been vaccinated against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis and measles. Also, 224 women were recorded for antenatal care while 45 births were registered between January 31 and March 31. Mr. Sam Pius was the inaugural Chief of Post of what would later be transformed into Kouhouat Baptist Health Centre.
Kouhouat Baptist Health Centre has a staff of 22 and a screener who attends to an average 415 patients every month. A total of 30 admissions are recorded on average per month, with 155 deliveries recorded in 2014. There were 998 In Patients attendance in 2014 and 6,269 Out Patients.
Outreach campaigns are vital in keeping the population in the village and neighboring villages keen on health issues. The former Chairman of the Village Health Committee describes Kouhouat Baptist Health Centre as the ‘Grandfather’ of health centres in his area, and credits the CBC Health Services with lifestyle changes that have reduced mortality and improved their lives. El Hadj Njikam Mama says hygiene used to be a leading cause of ill health, but education has changed the way his people go about their lives. They no longer have to travel far to get treatment. El Hadj Njikam is proud of the quality services his village now receives, and says it has contributed to the overall development of the area, now attracting people from Massangam, Kouptamou, Koutaba, Foumbot, Njimoun, Foumban and Bangourain.
The health centre provides the following services:
These include general consultation, registration, pharmacy, laboratory (the key tests being urinalysis, hepatitis, malaria, sexually transmitted infections, and type and cross match of blood for transfusion amongst others). Another service at the Outpatient Department is family planning which offers various family planning methods to clients. There is a maternity that does Antenatal Clinic (ANC), deliveries, infant welfare clinic and nutrition counseling. The health centre offers prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services. One of the key outpatient services is the Treatment Room where minor surgeries and dressing change are done.
The health centre admits severe medical cases and those needing medical follow-up. The centre has a bed capacity of 27 spread in five wards namely; Men’s, Women’s, Children’s, Maternity and Private Wards.
Other Services include the Chaplaincy that ensures the spiritual wellbeing of staff, Security Post that safeguards staff and equipment and the Laundry Department that is in charge of keeping the health centre linen and compound clean.
Kouhouat village, with a population of more than 4,500 inhabitants is situated 26km from Foumban and surrounded by Kourom I, Kourom II, Kouchang, Koupa Menke, Koupa Matapit, Koupa Kagnmam whose population is more than 4,000. It is found in Bangourain Subdivision, Noun Division in the West Region of Cameroon. Kouhouat is predominantly Muslim. The health centre receives patients from seven out of the nine subdivisions in Noun division.