Rural Doctors, Community Health Foundation offer free medical consultation in Tole

Rural Doctors attend to patients

Over 30 individuals in Tole have benefitted from free medical consultations, free laboratory investigations and treatment, and counseling from the services of Rural Doctors in partnership with Community Health Foundation health centre. The one day free general consultation took place on December 11 2020 at the health centre. 

With the ongoing socio-political crisis, the health situation of Tole has worsened as most health workers who used to work there withdrew due to security threats. The demanding health needs of this population prompted Rural Doctors to organize this activity.  

Over seven health workers took part in this exercise – outpatient department, consultation, Laboratory and propharmacy. Available essential drugs were administered to patients after being prescribed by the consulting physicians. Those with some medical conditions requiring a specialist’s attention were referred to the Regional Hospital in Buea for further care. 

The most common medical conditions in this community made up of predominantly farmers and Tole Tea estate workers are malaria, osteoarthritis, gastritis, NCDs, etc. Some behaviours like heavy alcohol consumption and smoking were also common amongst men. Poor usage of mosquito bed nets, improper deworming of children and poor hygiene and sanitation were also noted.

Most of the participants were elderly and farmers with chronic ailments like osteoarthritis, hypertension, diabetes, etc. Some chronic diseases were just newly diagnosed as they have been living with this for quite some time without appropriate medical attention. 

According to Shifu Ismail, Coordinator of the Rural Doctors South West Volunteer Network, most children in the community don’t sleep under mosquito bed nets due to unavailability, ignorance and negligence of the parents. No proper deworming was observed in this age group too. 

“Majority of the participants were female and with the most common symptoms being generalized body pains, joint aches, headache and epigastric pain. Most were already using traditional concoctions and painkillers to soothe these pains". 

Matthew Chambi benefited from the free consultation is grateful the exercise helped him know his NCDs status.

“I have never known of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) were till I met these doctors. I was diagnosed with hypertension and will start following my treatment. It’s not been easy for us here because of the crisis. Many health workers no longer come to help us” Said Matthew Chambi. 

Some patients with chronic medical conditions that warrant specialist attention in higher level hospitals complained of financial issues.

“It is possible they will not respect the referral if they don’t have any financial support and it is risky for their health. However, Rural Doctors will endeavour to organize more screenings for this community”. Said Shifu Ismail.

Tole is a rural community in the outskirt of Buea municipality and predominantly inhabited by farmers and Tole Tea estate workers.it is one of the health areas under Buea Health district.

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