PM Dion Ngute inaugurates Bertoua Regional Hospital. .

The long-awaited Regional Hospital Center (CHR) of Bertoua was finally inaugurated on Monday, June 10, 2024, by Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute. The opening marks a significant step forward in the government’s efforts to modernize Cameroon’s healthcare infrastructure.


“This state-of-the-art facility is a concrete manifestation of our commitment to improving healthcare access for all Cameroonians,” Prime Minister Ngute said in his inaugural speech. “The CHR offers not only essential medical services but also advanced capabilities for complex cases. It rivals similar facilities across Africa and has the potential to attract medical tourism to the East region, which borders several neighboring countries.”


Spanning 12,000 square meters, the CHR of Bertoua represents an investment of approximately 8.9 billion CFA Francs. Construction began on April 27, 2017, with an initial target completion date of May 31, 2021. However, the project faced multiple delays, with revised deadlines of September 2021, December 2021, and finally, the end of 2022. These postponements caused concern, but the April 2024 commissioning and inauguration mark the culmination of a long wait.


According to the Ministry of Public Health, the CHR began offering a full range of services upon its commissioning on April 19, 2024. Initially, only emergency, laboratory, and imaging services were available. This allowed for an evaluation and improvement of the emergency patient flow before the full suite of services was activated within two weeks.


“Early results are encouraging,” the ministry reported. “In just 51 days since opening, the facility has recorded 299 consultations, 784 laboratory tests, and 235 imaging analyses. Laboratory and imaging services, including CT scans, X-rays, and ultrasounds, are particularly in demand.”


The Ministry confirmed that surgery, emergency, and maternity services are now fully operational. As of today, 23 successful surgeries have been performed, and 30 births have been recorded. Notably, pediatrics has seen 21 cases, including a six-year-old who recovered after ingesting acid and receiving unsuccessful treatment at other facilities before being transferred to the CHR.


To ensure smooth operations, a team of approximately 250 staff members is dedicated to the CHR. This includes 90 civil servants, among them 16 doctors. The doctor team comprises seven specialists (surgeon, neurosurgeon, cardiologist, pulmonologist, rheumatologist, anesthetist-resuscitator, and medical imaging specialist) and nine general practitioners.


The paramedical staff consists of 116 individuals, including 76 nursing aides. Additionally, the CHR employs 26 laboratory technicians, 5 engineers and technicians in medical imaging, 4 mortuary attendants, 4 civil engineering personnel, and 30 maintenance agents. The Ministry also highlighted the valuable support provided by interns in advanced training.


Dr. Thierry Ekanga, a medical advisor, confirmed that the hospital’s blood bank is already functional. Staff donations initiated an internal blood drive, and mechanisms are in place to maintain sufficient stock for emergencies.


The CHR of Bertoua is one of eight regional hospital centers planned for construction across Cameroon under the health component of the Triennial Emergency Plan for Accelerated Growth (Planut). Prime Minister Ngute has previously inaugurated the CHR facilities in Garoua (North) in May 2022, and Ebolowa (South) and Bafoussam (West) in December 2022

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