Noemie’s Mission in the Catholic Medical Center Notre Dame du Rosaire DE SIMBOK / YAOUNDE CAMEROUN
“Sick people are our reason for being.”
The dispensary where I work is commonly known in the neighborhood as “Hospital of the Sisters.” This means so much that this is a place of first resource, private and managed by nuns, which is a synonym of good reputation in general.
It has been opened since 2008 and it is managed mainly by two Dominican nuns (Sisters Marie-Claire and Carine). Both are nurses and are involved in taking care of sick people, but above all, they watch enormously patients and personnel.
Their benevolence and dedication are unlimited, this is why they know how to make the center to work out. Approximately, hundreds of babies are born in the center each month. Four nurses and two midwives are part of the maternity team, divided into three shifts. I have come to strengthen this small team during the day in the week.
Every day we monitor pregnancy medical consultations (Tuesdays and Thursdays), pathological pregnancies (which are derived to a bigger medical center), labor, Caesarean sections (we are lucky to have a beautiful operating room); we also monitor newborn babies, women who have faced Caesarean sections and other procedures or operations in the hospital. In addition, the personnel also pierce the ears of newborn girls, circumcise newborn boys and support general medical consultations if necessary.
Neither the technical means nor the organization are comparable to what we can see in the French maternity units! Here it is built the labor room; Every procedure is done in the dispensary: 3 out of 5 examination tables are one next to the other and as Cameroonians say in difficult times as in joy moments: “We are together!”
It took me three weeks of work to understand the maternity room, the part each had to play and the distribution form and support of patients. There is a language barrier with many women. Even though they speak French, we do not have the same expressions at all, and some portions of the population speak English and their own dialect.
There are also cultural differences in the way they accept life: here, women give birth alone and their families wait in the hall, prepare the bed and the bedroom for their stay and they will be present day and night as along as the stay lasts.
The companions will be in charge of washing the clothes, the food and everything that the mother needs. Also, they will look for the necessary medicine the mother will need during her stay in the medical center and will pay the bill.
A beautiful experience that opens a new reality.
NoemiCatholic Medical Center Notre Dame du Rosaire
SIMBOK / YAOUNDE