The doctor who travels through every snag to deliver free medical care in all corners of Cameroon
Georges Bwelle saw his father suffer for 21 long years due to lack of proper medical care in Cameroon. Georges accompanied his ailing father to the hospital at 5 am in the morning with the hope to be the first patient. But scenario in the hospital turned out to be shocking; seemed long queues of patients and waiting had no ends.
Bwelle’s father passed away in 2002 but the situation hasn’t changed much since then. According to the World Health Organization, in Cameroon, there is only one doctor for every 5000 people. Nearly three-quarters of the country’s health-care spending is private. The situation is even much more critical when most of the people live below the poverty line. So, in simple and straight counts, even if they could able to see a physician, they could not afford.
Georges Bwelle was determined to do something about it, after seeing his father’s sufferings and other countrymen suffer. Georges chose to be a doctor. He is working as a surgeon in Yaounde’s Central Hospital. Georges then started a nonprofit organization ASCOVIME, which provides free medical care to the people living in far flung areas, on weekends.
Every Friday, Georges and his team start their journey with the prime motive to reach out to the poor people and aid them with free medical care. They have to travel through hardship like going through the rough terrain and pushing the vehicles through rivers and mud. But finally when they reach their final destination, they get a heroic welcome from the poor villagers, who eagerly wait for the medical team.
Each of these weekend clinics provides varieties of medical care like malaria, tuberculosis, malnutrition, diabetes, parasites and sexually transmitted diseases. People also get donated eyeglasses and free birth certificates. Georges and his team have performed more than 700 free surgeries till now. They have helped nearly 32,000 people through ASCOVIME.
This will change my future with my family, said one man who received a free hernia surgery.
It’s a hands-on opportunity for many medical and nursing students who come from the United States and Europe to join Bwelle on his mission.
Georges Bwelle was declared as the top 10 CNN heroes of the year 2013, for his phenomenal contribution of free medical care to the poor and needy people of Cameroon. Georges Bwelle has put all his efforts to help others live happier lives, fulfilling the promise he made to his father.
‘I am so happy when I am doing this work. And I think about my father. I hope he sees what I am doing. To make people laugh, to reduce the pain, that’s why I’m doing this.’ Georges Bwelle proudly said.
Image Credit- cameroon/CNN