Even though the structural reforms in the congregation of the Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis within the past 7 years were driving us into greater self-sufficiency, the socio-political crisis in Anglophone Cameroon has retarded our growth enormously. Nonetheless we rely on support and donations from partners and friends from all over the globe. However, our four strategic focus areas in force are still ambitious:
– Centralized management of the TSSF Cameroon Province with efficient services for the better productivity and evangelization
– Improved quality of service delivery in all apostolates for meaningful impact;
– Strengthened quality of community life and holistic formation
– Enhanced sustainability and self-reliance
Drawn from this foundation, the healthcare vision of the Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis has the following objectives:
– To make health services accessible and affordable to all in the targeted geographical location where they have foundations. Thus we embark on outreach healthcare and Primary Health Care in order to maintain the population in a state of wellness as well as diagnose and manage illnesses at an earlier stage. It is our wish that every patient receives the basic health services in our institutions irrespective of their socio-economic, political or faith orientation.
– To step up the quality of health services by providing acceptable structures, equipment and well-trained personnel. These elements should congregate to enable us offer dignified services to the people—most of whom are stagnated by their socio-economic conditions.
– To embark on alternative medicines and also to produce the basic pharmaceutical products used in our localities.
70 percent of the people in the communities where we operate healthcare services in Cameroon and Republic of Central Africa are unable to afford the funds needed for their medical treatment, so they return home without paying their bills for the services consumed. For its sustainability, our health services depend 80 percent on patient bills, 14 percent on donations and 1 percent on Government subvention. When the patients cannot pay their bills because of their poverty-stricken condition, then the development of our health services becomes impossible. Additionally, there are no national health insurance schemes. Apart from the local schemes—Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province Health Assistance (BEPHA) and Kumbo Mutual Health Organization (KMHO), patients pay their bills out of the pocket. Thus, any health initiative is only bound to limp on slowly. Stacks of unpaid bills are filed in our cabinets because we are serious about administering the needed health care before asking for bills in order to save life.
Why we need help
Besides the picture painted by the fore-going problem statement, the following socio-economic facts justify our need for “support”.
– We live in a socio-economic climate where most of the rights of the citizens are traded off or negotiated. Thus an ordinary Cameroonian citizen hardly enjoys any benefit by right of belonging. We normally struggle on our own for everything, at the mercy of charlatans along administrative lines: the right to compete fairly in competitive examinations, the right to public services, etc. By that very fact, the citizens’ duties are also blurred or poorly enforced.
– It is generally acclaimed that Cameroon is one of the richest Countries in Africa in terms of natural resources (oil, gas, timber, aluminum, agriculture, etc), but very poor in the availability of social amenities.
– Out of 188 Countries, Cameroon ranked 153 in the Human Development Index, rated at 0.518 percent in 2019. In a population of 24.68 million, about 40 % lives below the poverty line with 55% living in rural areas. In like manner, the unemployment rate stands at 4.2 percent (officially).
– The Private Sector in Cameroon, where we belong, is a growing force to reckon with. If the Gross Domestic Product has risen steadily, the contribution of the Private Sector would be significant.
– Malnutrition is at the heart of numerous health hazards like extreme illnesses and early deaths. Limited income equates a limited amount and quality of food, inadequate healthcare and education for most Cameroonians. Due to natural and man-made disasters, malnutrition is on the rise in the whole Country especially in the North, Far North, North West and South West Regions.
– Healthcare then remains a big struggle for the impoverished Cameroonians as they don’t afford enough financial capacity to access decent healthcare services. Even though Government spending on healthcare in Cameroon is considerable, it does not usually reach the population to which it is destined due to systemic corruption.
Against this background of poverty, the development wheel, especially in the healthcare sector is heavily clogged. By God’s providence, we are here—people of the locality, committed to “light a candle”, no matter how little and make a difference for the people. You are welcome to visit the list of approved projects here.