With health becoming a major area of concern, people like Dr. George Bwelle or as he is popularly known as the Robinhood of Africa, play a key role in providing essential healthcare facilities to the poor people. But how? And is it essential to have basic health facilities available for all? If yes, then why is the condition so bad across the globe?
According to a report by the World Bank Group and World Health Organization (WHO), at the very least, about 400 million people around the globe do not have access to essential health services. The same report also found that approximately 6 percent of the population living in middle or low-income countries is tipped off into extreme poverty due to expenditure on health services. While international organizations and governments are trying their best to deal with the issue of unavailability of basic health services, there is one man who is doing his best to help at least the poor people of his region to live a healthy and better life, and his name is Georges Bwelle. This is his story!
Georges Bwelle’s father got injured in a car accident in 1981 and suffered a broken arm. However, soon an infection developed which then spread to his brain, resulting in a hematoma he could not get rid of for the rest of his life. For 21 years, he frequented hospitals, slipping in and out of consciousness that wasn’t even equipped to help him. Georges and his father used to wake up at 5 in the morning, run to the hospital only to find them swarmed with other patients. Due to lack of treatment, James Bwelle passed away in 2002, and the situation continues to remain the same. Cameroon has a drastic scarcity of doctors where there is only one medical practitioner for every 5000 people. For the purpose of comparison, you can consider the fact that the US has one doctor for every 413 people. This is how the situation is in the Central African country. And even if a doctor can be found, not many people here can afford the treatment.
Georges Bwelle, who watched his father and his several fellow countrymen suffer so much for more than two decades, is now himself a doctor today who is doing everything he can to help sick people in need. He works as a vascular surgeon in Yaounde's Central Hospital. Georges has also started a non-profit named ASCOVIME. He, along with volunteers, travels to the rural areas offering free medical services. In the past 10 years, the non-profit has helped more than 32,000 people. He and his volunteers help around 500 people during their every trip and treat everything from parasites, diabetes, malnutrition, and tuberculosis to malaria and STDs.
Only in the past year, Georges Bwelle and his team of volunteers have performed more than 700 free surgeries for the poor. The students who volunteer with the doctor typically pay for their own trip to Cameroon and also bring with them donated medical supplies. However, once they have arrived in Yaounde, Georges Bwelle takes care of their transportation, accommodation, and instructions. The doctor does not consider the tremendous pressure that he has on him a hardship. Instead, he believes that by helping other people live a happier life is how he is fulfilling a promise that he once made to his father and this is something that brings him great joy.
If heroes do exist in their world, then Dr. Georges Bwelle of Yaounde, Cameroon definitely is one. He might not be fighting crime is a latex suit, but he is, in fact, saving lives of hundreds and thousands of people and helping them live a happier and productive life. All of us should take inspiration from him and start doing to the best of our abilities whatever we can to help people around us. He was just a young boy hailing from a low-income family that could not even afford medical services. If he can put himself in a position where he is able to help hundreds and thousands of people, who is to say we can’t?
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