The strata of expatriate medical workers for BTMAT in its commitment for the care of children with cancer in our three target hospitals in Cameroon, is as follows:
The senior medical colleague in charge of the development of appropriate treatment regimes for our cancer patients in the resource-poor setting of sub-Saharan Africa. The man at the top! Since the Trust became active in 2006, this position has been held by Professor Peter Hesseling, Paediatric Oncologist at Tygerberg Children’s Hospital, and Stellenbosch University South Africa. Officially retired though he is, Prof Hesseling – a globally respected specialist in the field of child cancer – finds it difficult to retire! He has however, been diligent in seeking out and recruiting another senior child cancer in S Africa to take the reins in due course – Professor Mariana Kruger. Prof Mariana has visited our hospitals in Cameroon, liked what she saw, and agreed to lead us when Prof Peter finally goes.
Visiting senior child cancer specialists
Such colleagues from the UK would be valuable; we know of a few who have read and heard about our work. They would be unable to commit long-term to our work, but an intermittent visit from them would be valuable from the point of view of listening to their comments, considering their suggestions, and hearing about any feasible research ideas they might have.
Visiting junior doctors
We have had the benefit of visits to Cameroon, of several newly qualified doctors from the UK. Leeds University and Dundee University in particular have served BTMAT. Such young people are a delight to work with; they come with fresh ideas and high hopes, and they ask questions that older doctors stopped asking decades ago. They too cannot be expected to commit long-term to our work; African hospitals cannot provide salaries which would come close to what is available to them in the developed world. We are however on the lookout for such dedicated young colleagues. We will meet them, and hopefully be able to provide them with simple research projects in keeping with their aspirations, and be in touch with them before, during, and after their time in Cameroon. If you are in this category, and have time, energy, and the necessary drive to assist in the care of children with cancer in the developing world – do contact us.
Visiting medical students
Many of the young doctors who have assisted us, did so firstly when they were medical students. BTMAT has had the benefit of visits from many such people in their Elective period. If you would like, as a fourth or fifth year r medic, to gain experience of paediatrics – and especially paediatric oncology – in high quality friendly African hospitals, do please contact BTMAT. We would love to meet you, listen to you, hear what your hopes and aspirations are, and suggest a project you might engage upon for two to four months in our hospitals.
Doctors close to retirement
There must be a whole raft of family doctors and other colleagues close to, or just beyond retirement from the UK NHS, who feel they are not yet happy to hang up their stethoscopes and buy a yacht, or play endless golf, or visit those parts of the world still safe to visit. Such may feel they have more to offer, and perhaps for the under-privileged and poor of the world. This was the case for BTMAT Trustees Dr Peter and Dr Paul. Such colleagues will have served the NHS for decades, and will probably feel well-satisfied with the remuneration they have received, the standard of living they enjoy, and the NHS pension they are about to receive. They might be well able to assist in our work in Cameroon for a month or so. Seriously committed doctors would enjoy the 3-month courses in Tropical Medicine offered at the Liverpool and London Schools. We would love to meet you; please contact us.
We have once had the services of an English nurse at Banso Baptist Hospital. It is a good opportunity for nurses to see the constraints that exist in African hospitals.
We have never had an English midwife in our hospitals. There would however be opportunity to see how antenatal, intranatal and postnatal matters are dealt with in Cameroon. Contact us if you are interested.
Carpentry, metalwork, electrical work, plumbing, gardening etc., are not in demand, for the Cameroon Baptist Health Board has an extensive team of such folk recruited locally.
It should be borne in mind that everyone who seeks some form of temporary employment in our hospitals, will be vetted pretty thoroughly by the hospital administration, in addition to our own interviews. The CBCHB has never declined to accept anyone we have recommended.
Note also that you would be working for a mission hospital with a strongly Christian ethic; such hospitals provide 50% of health care needs, at generally high standards considering their resource-poor situation.
You do not need to be Christian to work for the CBCHB, but it would be prudent not to rock the Baptist boat. Your own personal philosophy of life would be respected if did not cause disharmony among the work force.