The Mukete Dynasty: A Beacon of Consensual Democracy and Leadership Transition in Cameroon
By Colbert Gwain
In spite of the growing evidence that traditional rulers, monarchs, and even democratically elected leaders in Africa tend to cling to power indefinitely, even when their leadership is lacking, the Mukete royal family of the Bafaw dynasty in Cameroon’s South West region stood out two years ago. Chief Mukete, a centenarian, willingly relinquished the throne to his fifty-year-old son, Ekoko Mukete.
Amidst the tarnished reputation of elections in Africa, which often cast a negative light on Western-inspired democracy, the smooth transition within the Mukete lineage in the Bafaw kingdom provides a unique opportunity for Cameroonian and African intellectu…
[3:17 PM, 6/29/2023] Michael Johnson: Bamenda Regional Hospital Smashes a Rare Disease in a Record-Setting Surgery
Colbert Gwain in Cameroon
The eyes of the medical world turned to Bamenda last March 14, 2022, when a dedicated team of daring medical doctors defied all odds and successfully operated upon 11-year-old Success Mongwa, bugged down at birth by an unknown disease that caused his abdomen to swell, abnormally.
Sources close to the Bamenda Regional Hospital hinted that Yaounde had originally wanted Success Mongwa to be referred to the nation’s capital for proper medical attention. But the dedicated team of doctors at the hospital succeeded in convincing the hierarchy that Bamenda could do just as good a job.
After a series of scannings, consultations, and cross-referencing by experienced and established medical experts from across the world, the team at the Bamenda Regional Hospital settled down to work, unruffled.
Armed with the faith that whatsoever happens over there can also happen over here, the medical team under the coordination of Dr. Denis Nsame, Director of the Bamenda Regional Hospital, supervised by the Regional Delegate for Public Health under the watchful eyes of the Public Health Minister, the stage for the medical miracle was set.
With due diligence, the team went through the stages of medical observation, stabilization, and draining of the undesirable fluids, and finally, little Success is taken to the theatre.
The first-of-a-kind medical surgery that was being closely monitored by medical experts and students across the globe birthed the results everyone is celebrating at the Bamenda Regional Hospital today.
Drawn from various medical specializations, the Nsame-led team at the Bamenda Regional Hospital comprising Dr Kamgar Fotso Luc, Ward-Charge MaryAnn Kwe kiiyeh, Anaesthetists: Chientemou Oliver, Nyamkwi Benual, Nurses:Mosi Emmanuel, Board Felix, Chou Lilian and Dr.Divine Kendu, Wabane District Medical Officer, demonstrated in triumphant detail that Bamenda could still be a source of inspiration for modern Cameroon.
The uncommon feat performed on desperate and restless Success Mongwa was not unexpected. In the past few years, and since the arrival of Dr. Kinge Thompson Njie at the helm of that dilapidating and under-performing public health facility, the Bamenda Regional Hospital has competed favorably with other high-performing health facilities in the Region and beyond.
Despite all the obstacles placed in his way by hierarchy, Dr. Kinge steadily raised the performance bar of the erstwhile neglected Bamenda Regional Hospital. He did not only make staff motivation a priority but also transformed the working environment of the hospital.
His successor, Dr. Denis Nsame has not only worked to consolidate his predecessor’s achievements but has gone on to stamp his mark of uniqueness with more emphasis on personnel development. It was such motivation from management and job satisfaction for staff that enabled the team at the Regional hospital, to perform the historic feat.
However, the successful operation of Success Mongwa is not the only feat doctors and personnel working at Bamenda Regional Hospital have performed.
Since 2016, they, like their counterparts in other parts of the North West and South West Regions, have meandered through smoking guns to and fro hospital, during the day and at odd hours of the night, only to save lives. Unlike others who because of insecurity, threats to their lives, and above all, poor working conditions, abandoned the two Regions for greener pastures; these other medical doctors have remained dedicated and devoted to their Hippocratic oath.
The achievement being celebrated today couldn’t have been possible if not for the bravery of Ekong Nene, CEO of RUGBWA, a young upcoming Mother Theresia-like figure, who, despite mounting security challenges and threats to her life, unearthed the situation through her multiple trips to Lebialem. Her organization also raised the alarm bells and well as liaised with networks of Lebialem elites, community members, South West Women’s Network, SNWOT, and more importantly, the good offices of the Ayah Foundation that rekindled fresh hopes and shined the spot on the desperate nature of the stomach abnormally, even as Ekong Nene worked out ways with the poor parents to ferry the patient from Lebialem Division in the South West Region to the Bamenda Regional Hospital last February 16, 2022. In his typical fatherly manner, Ayah Paul Abine personally took up the issue, made trips to Bamenda, and took care of almost half of the medical bill.
Following the RUGBWA-Ayah Foundation move, an outpouring of benevolent individuals and groups took upon themselves to donate toward the child’s operation. Among the groups were the Bamenda Onpassive Team led by John Menkefor, GBHS Bamenda-95 Batch, Lebialem elites at home and abroad, the Yaounde CRTV Press Hour post-Hoc team led by Professor Mbatcham, BADECA Worldwide, MUYOFO and many more.
And so, an operation that could cost tens of millions abroad was diligently carried out in Bamenda for just over 1 million FCFA.
Athough post-operation fistula samples are still being examined in medical laboratories and research centres around the world, Bamenda Regional Hospital is beginning to put Cameroon on the world map as a high-flying treatment facility that can be relied upon