OUR STORY

The Beginning

Our story of Unite For Health Foundation is linked to the personal life journey of our Founder -Ndansi Elvis Growing up as a kid in one of the most remote parts of Cameroon, Elvis Ndansi saw his mom helping hundreds of people at her workplace in a small health center and even at our home. Sometimes at midnight, they will receive knocks on the door of a woman rushing with her baby who is convulsing or someone with a terrible fever or pain and at times they will take go to their residence to help deliver a pregnant woman in labor. His mom was called “Docta” by everyone in this village and he grew up knowing she was a medical doctor.

Elvis saw her sterilize her forceps by burning with alcohol or by boiling in a special pot in their kitchen that was specially made for that purpose. They were told never to use that ‘magical’ pot for anything. She carried out circumcisions and was one of the only healthcare providers who could do this with some sense of medical awareness and infection prevention. She circumcised over 500 kids in her career.
He only grew up to discover that his mother was not even a registered nurse but a nurse aid which is the most basic category of nursing. But the lives she saved and the pregnant women and children who received her care reminds us that we need basic fractures and dedicated nurses and healthcare providers and community health workers to improve healthcare in underserved communities.

Inspired by his mum, Elvis finally studied Nursing in the University. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing and was sent to work in a very remote area compared only to that which he grew up as a kid. This part of the country was a disputed zone between Nigeria and Cameroon with lurking recurrent stories of gunshots, pirates and killings. At the age of 23, with lots of ambitions to further his studies, most of his friends and some family members advise him not to go there. But he knew he had to because he remembered where he came from and how useful his mom was to the people in that community who needed just someone who cared about them.

Elvis decided to go work in the Bakasssi health district he experienced firsthand the suffering of people in last mile communities. As a nurse, he saw firsthand how a woman lost her nine months old baby just because she had to walk long distances to access the nearest healthcare facility which was where he was stationed. Assisting this woman to untie her already dead baby was so painful that he had to pretended the baby was still alive just to permit her get some rest before breaking the news to her. This, so that the tired woman could rest from the laborious journey. As he took the child to emergency room and spent some few moments, he had to break the sad news to this expectant mother. Yes, despite her bravery, the long distance could not permit her save her baby from a simple malaria that could have been treated even at her own neighborhood.

This was the turning point in Elvis’ life. A year later at the age of 24, he decided that he was going to do something to solve the problem of lack of proximity to healthcare services in underserved communities. He reflected on the impact his mom had as a nurse aid treating people even at home. He sold a photocopier that served as his source of income while as in the university for $700 and bought a stethoscope, some few diagnostic tools and a box of medication and took up residence in a community that had no health facility closer to the population. He started providing basic consultations and prescribing essential medications to solve basic health problems like malaria, typhoid fevers, skin rashes, etc . He invited a friend Anye Louis whom at that time had just graduated from nursing school and they started working together. A few years later, what they started in a one room space on a small building in Bonamoussadi student residential area in Yaounde had transformed into a micro-clinic.

That is how he founded Unite For Health Foundation with the mission to provide access and proximity to basic healthcare services in underserved communities through the opening of micro-clinics.
It is above 10 years today and Unite for Health Foundation now has three micro-clinics and has provided healthcare to over 25,000 Cameroonians. They have designed a unique infrastructure of how all the micro-clinics should look like with safer spaces where women can give birth in the hands of skilled health personnel. They have also incorporated the use of digital health technology to provide more quality health services. Their mission is to construct many of these micro-clinics in different parts of Cameroon and across other African countries.

Elvis believes if his mom could do it as a nurse aid, then you and I can do it now that we have become nurses, public health experts, healthcare executives, doctors, laboratory technicians, founders and CEOs.
Let’s Unite for Health of those in underserved communities by providing them access and proximity to healthcare services.

 

 

Where We Are Today

Unite For Health Foundation opened its first micro-clinic in 2007 in a community in the center region of Cameroon called Bonamoussadi. This is a student residential area and at that time there was no health facility proximal to the over 30,000 inhabitants of this community. Our micro-clinic that started as a one room nursing home became a center receiving all kinds of health emergencies both in the day and in the night and sometimes pregnant women already in labor. The clinic had to operate 24hrs/7 and made provision to handle different kinds of emergencies ranging from road traffic accidents to birth emergencies.

Over the past 10 years, Unite for Health Foundation has opened three micro-clinics in two regions of Cameroon. It has been providing general health services such as health consultations, laboratory screening, hospitalization and treatment of critically ill patients, pro-pharmacy, maternity services, antenatal health program (Pregnancy school program), immunization services for children, wound dressing, minor-surgical procedures, reproductive and family health services and general health education. All these are services that are offered in the micro-clinics. Unite For health Foundation has carried out several community-outreach programs in different parts of Cameroon where the micro-clinic does not exist to provide health education, screening for HIV and Hepatitis B, General Blood pressure and diabetes sensitization and screening and other point in time community health campaigns.

Over 45,000 people have benefitted from the health services of Unite For Health Foundation through its micro-clinic services and the community outreach programs since its creation in 2007. More that 500 women have given birth safely in its micro-clinic under the hands of skilled health personnel and it will interest you to note that no maternal death has ever been registered in any of its micro-clinics. U4H has a very efficient referral system with follow up to ensure that community members referred to bigger health centers and hospital actually get there and receive the care they need.

THE FUTURE

Unite for Health Foundation is currently finalizing its five-year strategic plan from 2020 -2025. We have successfully designed a unique model of our micro-clinic infrastructure drawing inspiration from the different services we offer and ensuring that these clinics could also service as vehicles for research and innovation in healthcare. This unique design will be constructed in different parts of Cameroon and we plan to take this to other countries in Africa in the next 15 years.

Unite for Health Foundation will also construct one major referral hospital in the North West Region of Cameroon which will provide specialized health services to those referred from the different micro-clinics.

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

Unite for health Foundation has opened a research and innovation division which will ensure that it captures the data generated from all our micro-clinic and health services in order to analyses and generate knowledge that can be translated to new forms of intervention for continuous improvement of our intervention strategies. It is introducing HER system in all the micro-clinic that will be interoperable in all the U4H health system to ease data collection and also improve on quality of health provided to the population.

DIGITAL HEALTH TELEMEDICINE

We are introducing digital health innovations and telemedicine as tools that will enable us serve a wider population especially those vulnerable segment of the population that are in areas that we do not have our micro-clinics

We started in Cameroon but we are now fully registered in the Unite States of America as a 501( C) 3 Non-for profit with headquarters in New York City. Our Vision started in Cameroon and now we are global in our thinking and ambitions.