In 2016, after a passionate presentation by Princess Dina Mired, President of the UICC and then Director of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, it left a lasting impression on me. I saw a gem in the fact that one could learn from those who have already succeeded. So when the opportunity to apply for a UICC Technical Fellowship arose, Florence and I did not hesitate in proposing a study visit to the Jordan Breast Cancer Programme.
Breast cancer in Cameroon is the most frequently occurring cancer among women followed by cervical cancer. Under Florence’s leadership, a strong national cervical cancer screening programme has been established, but very little exists on breast cancer screening due to a lack of equipment (Mammograms) and trained staff (Radiologists and Radiographers).
Florence and I decided to undertake this fellowship visit to learn from the Jordan Breast Cancer programme’s experience and use this knowledge to develop, implement and manage a comprehensive and sustainable breast cancer programme in Cameroon.
"One of the greatest learnings from the visit was that it takes time to build a strong institution. A key strategy to achieve this is to start small with what is currently available and generate a demand for screening services by raising awareness and promoting self and clinical breast exams. As the demand grows, services can be upgraded and expanded according to the needs of the population." - Florence Manjuh nurse and supervisor of the Women’s Health Programme at CBCHS
We observed the principles of success demonstrated in the day to day activities of the organisation in Jordan, including team-work, strategy, vision, strong leadership, passion and commitment in addition to several technical tools that were presented and taught with the aim of adapting and using them upon our return home. These acquired skills will go a long way in improving the health of many in Cameroon.
My ambitions for both the present and the future are strong. The skills I have learnt from this fellowship are being put to immediate use, to improve current services and also engage in integrating them into CBCHS’s planning process for 2020.
“We will work as a team in the design and implementation of the programme so that the services offered by the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services will have an impact on the lives of the people of Cameroon.” Ferdinant Mbiydzenyuy
Florence has an exciting year ahead as she has recently been selected as one of the eight UICC Young Leaders. During this year-long programme, she will attend the 2019 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Kazakhstan and the 2020 World Cancer Congress in Oman. She will also participate in a regional activity enabling her to have another opportunity to collaborate with and learn from other cancer organisations. This will be a great chance for her to promote her work and the work of the CBCHS both regionally and globally, and it will be an invaluable experience for the continued growth and success of the CBCHS Breast Cancer Programme.