Rural Doctors is a not-for-profit, non-religious and apolitical organisation with mission to build and strengthen sustainable community disease prevention and response in poor rural settings; and provide lifesaving health care to vulnerable groups, and victims during crisis. It has a long term goal to impact vulnerable communities in many countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Activities are primarily implemented in Cameroon, an underdeveloped country in West and Central African region which is considered by the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) as having poor health accessibility due to critical shortage of health personnel. The poor health indicators has been made worse by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North; the Anglophone crisis which has displaced over 500, 000 persons in the Northwest and Southwest Regions including health care providers; and the influx of refugees from Central Africa Republic in the East. Poor access by International Humanitarian Organisations into war torn communities in the Northwest and South West Regions due to security concerns and the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has further worsened the humanitarian challenges faced by inhabitants of these regions.
As per our action plan for the last fiscal year, Rural Doctors have exceeded expectations and impact (209%). Health assistance missions reached out to 2,201 patients. Out of this number, 53% were internally displaced due to the socio-political crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. Female patients were dominant (75%). The most vulnerable groups; pregnant women, children and the elderly, made up 58% of patients. Most patients were treated for malaria (28.2%). A total of 156 poor and vulnerable pregnant women benefited from antenatal care services. Most of the pregnant women received were internally displaced (82.7%). Due to poverty, half of the pregnant women catered for were in their 3rd trimester of pregnancy already but unable to afford basic antenatal care.
Rural Doctors designed and implemented a prevention campaign to fight water borne diseases among internally displaced persons living in crowded settlements. A total of 253 homes were sensitized on local methods of water purification and storage. They also received hygiene kits to help in proper water storage and usage. COVID-19 prevention campaign was carried out in war torn rural communities. It included sensitization on prevention methods, demystifying doubts and fake information, distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) and creation of public hand washing points. Six (6) communities affected by the sociopolitical crisis benefited from this project.
We want to do more! Despite the sufficient available human resources and access into affected communities, funding is quite low to meet the rising needs of these vulnerable communities.