Global Health Elective
UAB OB/GYN Global Health Elective in Cameroon, Africa
This opportunity occurs under the auspices of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)-Cameroon Health Care Collaborative Initiative. The goal of the ongoing UAB-Cameroon Health Care Collaborative Initiative is to foster multidisciplinary educational, research and clinical service collaborations between investigators and service providers at UAB and those in Cameroon, Africa.
The collaborative was started in 2010 by Dr. Alan T. N. Tita, a UAB Professor of Ob/Gyn and native of Cameroon, to foster Ob/Gyn collaboration. This initiative has now extended to involve team members in other departments of the School of Medicine as well as the Schools of Public Health and Nursing. The local partners in Cameroon are the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS), the North West Regional Delegation of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Buea and Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Yaoundé 1. Among ongoing activities is the Ob/Gyn International Elective for Residents or Fellows.
Ob/Gyn International Elective for Residents or Fellows is hosted by the CBCHS a major health service provider in Cameroon. The CBCHS, including over 5 main hospitals and 66 health centers spreading out across urban and rural locations in Cameroon, provides a rich educational environment for local and international trainees. The CBCHS provides and covers accommodation and local transportation for visiting international trainees from UAB and other US institutions through this program. Research can be performed as part of the elective. Support for UAB trainees comes from the Ob/Gyn Resident Foreign Travel Fund (founded by Dr. Tita) and UAB Department of Ob/Gyn Fund for Excellence in Education. We had 2 of our UAB residents travel to Cameroon during 2013-14 for 4-week electives. This opportunity is also being extended to other US Ob/Gyn departments in order to have year round coverage.
Resource persons and mentors for this opportunity include:
- Prof. Tih Pius, CBCHS Director, and other CBCHS physicians and surgeons
- Drs. Edith and Thomas Welty, CBCHS partners based in Indiana, US
- Cameroon Health and Education Fund
- Dr. Gregory Edie Halle-Ekane, Vice Dean in charge of Research and Cooperation in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Buea in Cameroon
- Gain experience in providing comprehensive obstetrical and gynecological care in a developing country resource-limited setting
- Assist the Reproductive Health Program and general surgical staffs in outpatient and inpatient diagnosis and management
- Administer educational sessions focusing on Ob/Gyn to the health providers who are primarily general practitioners, nurses and midwives
- Participate in cervical cancer prevention program involving screening using VIA, VILI, and EDI, rather than Pap smears, in a variety of settings within a developing country
- Pursue any obgyn clinical topic of interest in a developing country setting
- Conduct research in any area of ObGyn interest with appropriate prior planning
- Participate in daily obgyn in-patient rounds, office consultations and surgeries.
- Take night call on designated days as agreed with the US-based and local mentors.
- Specifically, assist with surgical services for women with cervical cancers for which surgery is indicated.
- Assist with family planning, breast cancer screening and referral. Diagnosis and management of a variety of abnormal GYN conditions (including ultrasound for diagnosis and guided biopsy) in both outpatient and inpatient settings, and treatment of reproductive tract infections including use of WHO syndromic management guidelines.
- Travel with Program Supervisor to multiple health facilities, including mobile clinic, to provide consultation, training, and supervision.
- Work with Program staff to further strengthen collaboration with the Cameroon National Fight Against Cancer.
- Evaluate staff, equipment handling, procedural techniques, and other aspects of the Program for Quality Improvement and to assure that the Program adheres to its policies.
- Obtain ethical approval for any planned projects.
Congratulations to Doctor Gregory Halle-‐Ekane from Camaroon, who has been chosen to receive one of two Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO) International Scholarships for Ob/Gyn Educators to attend the 2015 APGO Martin L. Stone, MD Faculty Development Seminar (FDS). Dr. Halle-Ekane is sponsored by Dr. Alan T. N. Tita, a UAB Professor of Ob/Gyn and native of Cameroon.