‘Public Health: Heath Care Below Expectations’ this article in Cameroon Tribune the national daily made my day. Cameroon Tribune is considered more or less like the PR paper for the government so things must be very bad at the public hospitals for them to write that “The services rendered in emergency wards in public hospitals leave nothing to write home about”. CT states that “what is common in these emergency wards is mostly negligence, insolence on the part of the medical staff, high cost of treatment amongst others”
In April of this year ,2014, I came face to face with the reality of the poor services rendered in some emergency wards in public hospitals in Cameroon. I went there with a friend who had been raped.The male nurse on duty could not have been more nonchalant. He was chewing some roast corn, taking generous bites off the maize cob and speaking to us while he ate.
The conversation with the nurse at the emergency unit of the public hospital in my town went like this
Nurse: “Yes what do you want? Do you have an emergency?”
Me: “Yes, we do”
Nurse: ”who has a problem .You or the girl. What’s the emergency? Is she pregnant and bleeding?”
Me: “No she is not pregnant and bleeding” I was beginning to get annoyed, is that the only kind of case that qualifies as an emergency here. I wondered.
I leaned close to his table and whispered “My friend says she was raped this afternoon”
Nurse:”Ok, that’s not an emergency. You people should just take a seat outside and wait”. I went out with my friend, and came back and stood at the door. As far as I was concerned, this was more than an emergency!
You can read more about my experience at the emergency ward in this post