Nkwen Baptist Health Center
Nkwen Baptist Health Centre is located within the Baptist Centre Nkwen premises in Bamenda at the Finance Junction neighbourhood. It started on May 2, 1979 in a rented structure as a dispensary with just 3 staff including the Chief of Post and moved into the present site in January 1982. It was finally upgraded into a full health centre in 1989.
Due to the rapid growth in population of Bamenda and other neighbouring towns and localities, accompanied by the various health hazards that come with such circumstances, Nkwen Baptist Health Centre is strategically at the heart of health care provision in the capital city of the North West Region of Cameroon.
Nkwen Baptist Health Centre has a staff strength of 101 with 1 specialist, 2 General 1 Doctor (General Practitioner), 1 Dentist, 1 physiotherapist, and 6 Screeners. There are also a host of housekeepers (cleaners), who maintain the cleanliness at the health centre.
The Health Centre offers the following healthcare services to patients:
The CBCHS oral health programme (Dental Services) started in the late 1960s with just a few volunteers and Missionaries. Today, there are 5 Cameroonian Dentists, 6 Dental Therapists, 12 Dental Assistants, 14 Expanded Duty Dental Assistants and 14 Dental Auxiliaries (16 were expected to graduated from the CBC Private Training School for Health Personnel in April 2013). The average number of dental cases seen monthly in all the clinics today stands at 3500 in 2013 as against 50 in 1970. The CBCHS today runs 10 Dental Clinics in six of Cameroon’s ten Regions and 9 are functional. These are located as follows:
- Centre Region (Yaounde): Etoug-Ebe Baptist Hospital and Ekounou Baptist Health Centre
- Littoral Region (Douala): Mboppi Baptist Health Centre
- South West Region: Baptist Hospital Mutengene, Kumba Baptist Health Centre
- North West Region: (Bamenda) Nkwen Baptist Health Centre, Mbingo Baptist Hospital, Banso Baptist Hospital
- Adamawa Region (Banyo): Baptist Hospital Banyo (Not functional)
- West Province (Bafoussam): Bafoussam Baptist Health Centre
Most clients are low income earners who depend on the CBCHB Oral Health Programme for their dental health. However, the Programme also regularly receives the well-to-do. As at now, this programme is the largest oral healthcare provider in Cameroon.
Services offered include:
- Scaling and Polishing
- Fillings (Composite and Glass Ionomer)
- Root Canal Treatment
- Removable partial and complete dentures
- Third molar surgery
- Management of facial injuries/mandibular reduction
- Removable orthodontic appliances
- Some cosmetic dentistry
- Facial veneers using composite
- Crowns and bridges.
The CBCHS Oral Health Programme was the first in Cameroon to fill adult (permanent) teeth with high viscous Glass Ionomer using the Atraumatic Restorative Treatment technique (ART). This technique is a new approach in the management of dental caries without using dental drill, plumbed water, or electricity. ART involves using hand instruments to clean dental cavities and filling with an adhesive, fluoride-releasing material – Glass Ionomer (High Viscous). The treatment process needs no anaesthetic because pain and discomfort are rare. This approach is entirely consistent with modern concepts of preventive and restorative oral care, which stresses maximum effort in the prevention and minimal invasiveness of oral tissues. The ART technique has enabled the CBCHB Oral Health Programme to go beyond the age of amalgam fillings and Black’s Principles of cavity preparation, with the hope of conserving as much tooth tissues as possible with maximum comfort. The goal of the CBCHB Oral Health Programme is painless dentistry for all.
To improve on her dental services, the CBCHS purchased 3 three complete modern dental chairs and plans are underway to acquire more. In the same light, the CBCHS started recruiting Dental Auxiliaries from the CBC PTSHP in 2012 to boost the quality of services.
Community Oral Health Programme
The CBCHB started the Community Oral Health Programme in 2009 in Banso Baptist Hospital with support from Dentaid, a British dental charity organization devoted to the improvement of oral health in disadvantaged communities around the world. The programme has as focus to meet clients at their doorsteps in the fight against oral diseases.
This innovative initiative commenced with a School Oral Health Programme in primary schools. The programme offers oral health education, supervise daily tooth brushing (using tooth brushes and toothpaste), fill teeth using the Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) technique, and do minor extractions.
It is worth noting that Dentaid initially supported the CBCHB with 10 dental surgeries, expert advice, workshops in dental equipment maintenance, infection control in dentistry, and Atraumatic Restorative Treatment.
The dental department of the Nkwen Baptist Health Centre was set up in February 1987. It is reputed to be offering one of the best dental care services in the country as judged by the number of patients it receives daily, many coming from all over Cameroon. Its services are replicated in many other CBC Health Board institutions in the country. In March 2013, the number of patients seen annually had gone up to over 6000. The department is manned by one dental specialist (i.e. Dentist also known as a Dental Surgeon), one Dental therapist, six Dental Assistants and one Dental Laboratory Technician. Amongst other things the department offers Community Oral Health Services in primary schools in Mezam Division of the North West Region of Cameroon where dental staff supervise daily tooth-brushing with tooth brushes and fluoride toothpastes. Still during the community outreach, staff equally offers oral health education and treats children with dental problems on the spot. All these community oral health services are strictly free of charge.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Bouetou Tantoh Z. Theresia (Dental Surgeon)
Supervisor, CBCHS Dental Services
Tel: +237 67767 2143
In 2013, due to the continuous influx of clients at Nkwen Baptist Health Centre, a new Haematology Analyser was acquired for use in the Lab. This new technology has undoubtedly reduced patients’ waiting time and consequently of treatment as it can run multiple tests on a blood sample in just a minute; what hitherto took several hours. The Nkwen Baptist Health Centre Laboratory has 8 well trained staff who carry out the following tests:
- HIV Screening, Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
- CD4 cell counts
- Kidney Function
- Liver Function
- Urethral Smear
- Vaginal Smear
- Complete Urine Analysis
- Stool Analysis
- Sputum Analysis
- Filarial Test
- Malarial Test
- Sickling Test
- Blood Grouping
- Occult Blood
- Sperm Analysis
- Pregnancy Tests
- HB Electrophoresis
- Complete Blood Count
- Etc. etc. etc.
Treatment Room (Injection and Dressing)
This service of the Health Centre carries out minor surgeries treats chronic ulcers, autoclaving and all types of injections to patients as prescribed by the doctor or screener. They equally start IV infusions in some emergency cases before referring the patients to the hospital. It also dresses all types of wounds on patients. But wounds not responding to treatment are referred to hospitals for special care.
Not very critical patients on drips or accident cases are placed under observation in a four bed ward and later discharged to return home and continue with the drugs they have been prescribed.
The Eye Department of the Nkwen Baptist Health Centre officially went operational August 20, 2004. There are four eye nurses today at the department who consult patients and refer difficult cases to specialists at Mbingo Baptist Hospital. It is equipped with specialised eye care machines like the slit lamp, ophthalmoscope, etc. The health centre also offer special services for people with low vision (short sightedness). The average number of patients seen annually has sharply risen from 1,733 in the first year of creation to about 6,000 today.
Cases seen at the Nkwen Baptist Health Centre Eye Department include:
- Visual and Basic Eye Examinations
- History in two copies
- Refraction and Reading Tests
- Slit Lamp Examinations
- Tonometry and FB Removal
- Referral of complicated cases to specialists at Mbingo Baptist Hospital.
The Physiotherapy (PT) Department of Nkwen Baptist Health Centre started on August 17, 2012. The creation of the department was prompted by the increasing number of patients seen in the health centre with the need for PT assistance. During the first month of operation the department saw 51 patients and today, an average of 200 patients are seen monthly. There is 1 PT Assistant in the department.
General Consultation (and referrals)
Nkwen Baptist Health Centre operates strictly on an outpatient basis; that is, cases that require being admitted are often referred to other health facilities with in-patient or admission possibilities. The six screeners here consult patients and prescribe them drugs directly or refer them to the doctors here, who may still refer them to other health facilities for specialist attention if need be. The outpatient load has increased drastically. Over 100,000 patients are seen annually.
The Antenatal Department (ANC)
This department offers Maternal and Child Health, as well as Family Planning methods. No maternity exists yet at the Nkwen Baptist Health Centre, but expectant and would-be mothers are provided adequate antenatal care here that prepares them for safe delivery in any other hospital of their choice.
The Antenatal Department of the Nkwen Baptist Health Centre offers the following services:-
- Antenatal Clinic (ANC): Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Tuesdays: First visit for registration
- Thursdays: Revisit and follow-up.
Infant Welfare Clinics:
- Weighing of infants
- Child Vaccinations (daily)
- Health Education
Family Planning and Women’s Health Services
- Provision of all family planning methods including IUCDs and Norplants
- Cervical Cancer Screening
- PROFAM Services
HIV & AIDS Care (PMTCT / MTCT-plus)
Nkwen Baptist Health Centre began offering HIV & AIDS related services since November 2000. It however became a government approved centre for HIV & AIDS in 2007. People living with the disease are cared for through the Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Mother To Child Transmission (MTCT-plus) programmes, which render the following services to patients:
- Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV
- Voluntary counselling and testing for HIV
- Care and treatment to HIV positive pregnant women and their families
- Care and follow-up for HIV exposed infants
- Family participation in HIV & AIDS care. In this case, when a family member is tested positive, the rest of the family is encouraged to equally take the test. And those found positive are thus cared for.
The Nkwen Baptist Health Centre Treatment Centre, like all others in the country has a government attached statistician whose duty is to monitor HIV and AIDS statistics and update HIV clients’ register. At the end of each month, the statistician presents the statistics to the government for evaluation and reporting to partners.
The treatment centre has its own laboratory with some sophisticated machines to carry out reliable tests on HIV & AIDS and other diseases. These machines include:
- Guava PCA Machine
- EKTACHEM Analyser
- QBC Analyser
The tests carried out in the treatment centre laboratory include:
- Flow cytometry (CD4, CD4%, CD3)
- Full blood count (H6,Hct, Platelet, Differential count, MCHC, WBC)
- Liver function test
- Renal function test
- Blood sugar (Fasting blood sugar (FBS) and Random blood sugar (RBS))
With six permanent staff, the Pharmacy Department offer the following services:
- Drug compounding
- Drug dispensing
- Counselling and education on drugs and their side effects on patients
Chaplaincy/Spiritual/Psycho-social Care (Counselling)
The Chaplaincy/Spiritual/Psycho-social Care Department of Nkwen Baptist Health Centre was created in 1988 to take care of the spiritual and psycho-social needs of patients in conditions requiring that. Today, with the emergence of so many diseases and other life situations requiring psychotherapy, this department offers:
- Counselling for HIV testing
- Psycho-social and psycho-spiritual counselling
- Conflict Management
- Anger Management
- Anxiety, Depression and Stress Management
- Premarital and Marital Counselling
- General Spiritual Welfare Counselling to both clients and staff
The security guards at Nkwen Baptist Health Centre are quite dynamic as they are responsible for the reception of clients. They are equally responsible for the security of these clients and their property while they are within the premises of the health centre. During working hours, the security department is responsible for the security of the staff of the health centre and their property. Also, they are in charge of the security of the Health Centre and its property both during the day and at night.
Nkwen Baptist Health Centre runs a canteen during working hours which provides a limited variety of foods and soft drinks to both clients and staff
Nkwen Baptist Health Centre
PO Box 1, Bamenda
Admin: +237 670 21 29 98
+237 67467 7601 or +237 67520 5729