Our Total Health Program in Kumbo, Cameroon, is now the center of a health care revolution: steadily growing, filling much-needed health care gaps and providing health education in and around Kumbo. In fact, the more people we educate and treat in the area, the greater the demand for services, products, and information, creating new employment opportunities and ways to serve. Here is an overview of the Total Health Program, the blueprint for what Cameroonians are calling the Total Health Revolution.
The core of the Total Health Program is the Total Health Center, housed in our main community center in Kumbo. Opened in 2008, the Total Health Center offers simple, holistic solutions that are safe, effective, and very affordable. The health consultations are even free. The Total Health Pharmacy offers low-cost herbal medicines and other natural health products to address common complaints, such as:
- digestive tract ailments
- coughs and colds
- blood sugar problems
- stress disorders
- depression and anxiety
To further meet the demand for services in more distant and inaccessible villages, a health consultant makes routine visits via a mobile clinic. Travel in West Africa is so challenging and life is already so demanding that many patients are unable to make the arduous journeys often required to receive basic care.
The mobile clinic brings villagers:
- health consultations
- health education
- herbal medicine
- eye glasses
- hygiene and other health products
These visits bring patients treatment options they don’t have, in many cases preventing conditions from worsening or progressing to the need for a costly trip to a hospital.
Providing patient care is one aspect of our service: the second aspect is a health education program delivered to the whole community. In Cameroon, the population is largely uninformed about basic health and how lifestyle factors affect health. We have chosen to take a deliberate and thorough approach to helping them reclaim healthier lives. Our Public Health Education program is broad and unique. Its wide reach and success stems from the engagement of social groups, schools, churches, prominent community leaders, and the local government—a social infrastructure that was years in the making. Teaching basic public health and disease prevention is grounded in the ever-practical advice found in yoga: to prevent illness and avoid unnecessary suffering, you need to manage your health, a requirement for leading a balanced and productive life. Our health education activities range from community and radio health classes to mass awareness efforts through educational posters, flyers, and public service announcements. In Cameroon they say, “Your health is your wealth,” so the community is quick to appreciate the value of an empowering and preventative health care approach.