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. ThiMaternitys 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 providResidentes 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.

This elective rotation is intended for PGY 4 residents and PGY 3 residents, who have completed the majority of their rotations.  Applications are open to all programs.  

Application Process
Please submit the following items: 

  • Your CV
  • 1-page description of your interest regarding the Global Health Elective in Cameroon and detailing any ideas for projects, research or special interests that you would like to pursue during the rotation 

Applications must be submitted 3 months prior to expected rotation month to allow for resident selection by committee review as well as resident preparation for international travel.  Submit your application to: Chere' L. Stewart, MD


Resource persons and mentors for this opportunity include:

  • Alan T.N. Tita, MD, MPH, PhD, Professor at UAB, OB/GYN - Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • Prof. Tih Pius, CBCHS Director, and other CBCHS physicians and surgeons
  • Drs. Edith and Thomas Welty, CBCHS partners based in Idaho, 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
  • Chere' Stewart, MD, Associate Professor at UAB, OB/GYN - Women's Reproductive Health Care. Dr. Stewart manages the Elective Rotation Application Process.
  • 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 OB/GYN 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.

Basic Information for Volunteers Wishing to Serve in CBC Health Services Institutions / Programs

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services. The following will provide the basic information you need in order to decide if you want to proceed with completing the accompanying application. If your application is approved, we will send you additional information that will help you prepare for your time in Cameroon.

All volunteers with Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services should submit a completed Health Services application form. Please use your official name as found in your passport.

Please understand that our hospitals have limited visitor housing and slots for volunteers. This restricts the number of volunteers that we can accommodate at any given time. Foreign medical students are rarely accepted. We are sorry, but we cannot accept pre-medical students at this time. Flexibility as to the time of your visit will help us accommodate you. Early application is encouraged.

  • Approved physicians need to submit copies of their medical credentials.
  • Approved students need to submit a letter from their school stating that they are students in good
  • standing, the expected date of graduation, and that the school approves their rotation in Cameroon.
  • Residents and students are expected to commit to 4-6 weeks of service at the approved hospital.
  • Volunteer physicians can come for a minimum of 2 weeks.

The Mission Statement of the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Board is as follows:

The Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Board seeks to assist in the provision of care to all who need it as an expression of Christian love and as a means of witness, in order that they might be brought to God through Christ. Thus, the Health board shall provide exemplary health care with genuine compassion, with the overriding purpose of evangelical witness.

We thus require that all volunteers who wish to serve in our institutions be in support of, or sympathetic with, our endeavors to witness for Christ through health care. (It is not required that you are a Christian.) The comportment of all volunteers must be consistent with an African Christian lifestyle and dress. Drinking of alcoholic beverages and smoking are forbidden within the hospital and its premises. Participation in politics and/or critical comments on the government is forbidden within the community of the hospital. Information posted on blogs or other Internet sites should not be critical of the government or cultural practices. There must be proof of marriage for volunteers of
opposite sex who wish to stay together in one room.

To enter Cameroon you will need a valid passport with a current Cameroon visa, and an International Health Card with a current yellow fever vaccination. Visa application information will be sent to you if your application is approved.

Visitors should be up-to-date on tetanus and polio vaccinations. Hepatitis A and B, and meningococcal vaccinations are recommended. Malaria prophylaxis is required. Please follow current Center for Disease Control guidelines: For the latest travelers’ health information see the CDC website See also Travel insurance is required.

For more information on Cameroon, see and other websites. For information on religion, people groups and churches, refer to the book Operation World, 7th edition 2010.

For current safety bulletins from the US State Department, see For general travel information, security alerts, and cautions,

IV. EXPENSES – see Volunteer Expense sheet.
Full payment is expected prior to your arrival in Cameroon.

The office of the CBC Volunteer Coordinator will make all necessary arrangements for airport pickup, in-country transportation and lodging/feeding.

 (For Medical Residents)


a. What will be the resident’s duties, and what is expected of him/her?

Residents doing an elective at Banso Baptist Hospital (BBH) or Mbingo Baptist Hospital (MBH) will work under the supervision of one of the physicians there. They will participate in daily rounds on one of the hospital’s five wards at which time they will be responsible for assessing and writing orders for the patients. They will also assist daily in the consultation and treatment of patients in the hospital outpatient department and will share in nighttime call responsibilities. They may have the opportunity to visit one of the outstation clinics, if desired.

b. What can the Residents expect to learn during a clinical rotation here?

Residents can anticipate seeing, and gaining facility with treating, a variety of tropical diseases including malaria, filaria, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, amebiasis, and  schistosomiasis. We also care for most of the diseases routinely seen in the West. HIV disease accounts for a large percentage of the hospital admissions.

c. What type of supervision will be given the residents?

Residents will be provided with appropriate medical supervision for all clinical responsibilities. We have many well-trained national physicians currently providing most of the medical care in our hospitals. If your elective requires supervision by a physician with North American board certification, please let us know. There is no guarantee that an expatriate physician will be available for your supervision (or for all of it). At present, no medical malpractice Insurance is required in Cameroon.

For a printable copy of this document: Basic Information for Volunteers Wishing to Serve in CBC Health Services Institutions / Programs

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.