Happy Hearts !
I would like to thank ill the members of this August assembly here today. We are a privileged group of people. We're the only ones who span two divisions in the South West Province; Ndian and Meme.
Let me also thank the Honorable National President Prince Mediko for the gift of leadership and vision that he brought to this organization 4 years ago. These gifts have instilled stability to OCA-USA, and we are here organized, determined, and disciplined as a group because of his skill, and consideration. Mr. National President, It is difficult to exaggerate the quality of your commitment to this organization and we are all grateful to you and your team. I personally think that it is defensive to assert that your contribution will live on in the memory of your people. He worked for four years with his able team and the results are as clear as day. Oroko is back and moving fo~ward with zest and enthusiasm.
Jesus of Nazareth told His disciples that if they did what he told them to do; He would consider calling them His friends. Well the National President did everything he was asked to do and even more. He travel d extensively in Oroko land, seeking to arrive at a fresh appreciation of
what needed to be done for our people, and to awaken a desire to shed important light on our priorities as an organization. During one of his visits to Cameroon, I received a phone call while I was visiting with of r people from Big Bekondo. Because of his tireless efforts to foster and
facilitate greater engagement for good in the organization, I would like to confer upon him another title as he leaves the Presidency of OCA-USA. While it is true, that a keynote speaker does not have the prerogative to confer titles, I think that he has shown himself a true servant of
oroko: and deserves to be called KONJA YA OROKO. Have you noticed that when you ask a Bamileke person where is from????
As we address ourselves to the responsibilities of another national Convention, let us always keep in mind that we are here to celebrate the Goodness of our God. He brought us to this country and He is helping us to succeed in various ways. Please I want to be very emphatic when I say that what e are doing here today is very significant. Coming together (as we have) under these circumstances, contributes immensely to our ability to make progress in Orokoland.
Do not underestimate or overlook what you do for others. There is nothing little or small about kindness. God uses your kindness to reach and solve other people's problems in ways you will never know or even imagine.
Let me illustrate this with a personal story!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Bible describes al d defines a fool as someone who says there is no God "A fool says in his/her heart that there is no God.
However, let me define for you what and who a fool is NOT. HE/SHE IS NOT A FOOL WHO GIVES WHAT HE/SHE CANNOT KEEP, TO GAIN WHAT HE/SHE CANNOT LOSE". Actually, you add value to your own life when you give to other people.
Remember what Jesus said, "He said it is more blessed to give than to receive". The value you add to yourself is not just in monetary terms. It is in gaining more friends; it is in having and maintaining a job or your business. It is in having a peaceful home; it is enjoying the fruits of your labor. It is in making a difference in the lives of others, it is in seeing your children grow into responsible members of society making their own contribution as well. I can go on and on. Oroko, we add value of your personal lives, when we risk our time, treasure, on behalf of others and finally, adding val e to your life enables you to experience good health. You do not know the difference between health and ill health until you get sick. Believe me!
I think that it is appropriate for us to take a gaze in the direction of healthcare in Oroko land in the 21st century. However, we must resist the hubristic belief that we in America have all the answers. It is very crucial, to know the needs of our people, before we suggest what they need
in this area. My goal i1 talking about healthcare is not to leave the impression that I am an expert on this field, bj t rat~er to stimulate reflection on and commitment to public health activism in our area. Tr.ere is a unanimous view in healthcare, that health is always oriented towards the future and this !view is scientific. It means we take actions today, which will protect and promote health t l 1morrow. That leads me to the two dominant healthcare modules in the 21st century.
The therapeutic module and the Preventative module. These two modules differ in their vision, omission, outcome and objectives. The therapeutic module deals extensively with managing symptoms using medications. This approach has helped humanity for a long time. Broad gains in life expectancy have been experienced and achieved with this module. However, more than some people think that this module is archaic and 1ends not to fully fulfill the needs of the population of the 21st century. The major causes of death and disease have changed, and are changing, and so our approach should change to adapt to the current trajectory. Here is an illustration of what happens in a therapeutic module i Healthcare. You have a headache and say you are 43 years old, and this prompts you to go to the doctor's office. Your doctor talks with you briefly and offers you some headache medications like Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Anaprox D.S, and Naproxen etc. etc. You go home and after a few hours, your headache is resolved. What they have done is treated the immediate symptom.
The Preventative module on the other hand, is not only futuristic, but is also holistic in its approach. Using the Jame illustration of a headache, the doctor talks with the patient briefly and asks the nurse to do a urinalysis and check his blood sugar. The patient decries the need for a urinalysis and blood sugar check, stating he just has a headache. The nurse reassures the patient and secures h s cooperation. The nurse convinces the patient that the doctor who ordered the labs will + plain his rationale when he comes back to talk to you when we have the
results. The results c9me in and his blood sugar is 348mg/dl, has >lOOOmg/dl of glucose in his urine. The doctor ordered these labs because the patient's BMI (Body Mass Index) was 37. This doctor realized that t~e patient who came with a chief complaint of a headache also has a risk of developing chronic Illnesses in the future because of his obesity. A BMI of 37 means that this patient is obese. Be sensitivity to your BMI because it tells a lot about your susceptibility to chronic illnesses, and l an be very revealing about your over-all health status. BMI is a
calculation based on your height and weight.
Parenthetically, if this patient was in any of our areas, or in Cameroon, there is a good chance he could die suddenly n a f Jw years, and the village autopsy will state that he died because he had no person to sacrifice that is why his witchcraft peers too killed him. The preventative
healthcare module emphasizes lifestyle change and diet that influences your whole health. It specifically targets chronic illnesses that have been on the rise in this century. The major causes of death worldwide ar now lchronic illnesses. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. All
these diseases can be r versrd through a dramatic and radical reorientation of a lifestyle change, which includes the right kind of diet and regular exercise. The focus of the preventative module is on prevention and we all know that an ounce of prevention is far better than a pound
of cure. As a matter of fact, I had an elaborate and ambitious health care plan that I wanted to share with this assembly. But I did not think it could be readily accepted because it involved a huge financial sacrifice. Every bon4fide member was to contribute $1000 in a 12-month period. This money will then be user to hire a physician in Cameroon preferably an Oroko Physician. Pay him 300,000FCFA ever~\.mon ~h to run our three clincs in Ekondo Titi, Kumba, and Konye. Monday and Tuesday, hj is in Ekondo Titi, Wednesday and Thursday he is in Kumba, and then
Friday and Saturday he Js Konye. He hires his own nurse from the 300,000FCFA that we pay him. Involve all our people. If a family pays 150,000CFA, they become members of the Oroko USA Health Maintenance organization. As a member, you can go to any of our clinics and you do not have to pay a ~1me for the next 12 months even if you go there 100 times. These clinics will not need to have ~ophisticated equipment. Only the basic stuff like Blood Pressure machines, Glucometef s, a Urinalysis machine, oxygen saturation, and a Scale. This is looking at healthcare from a pri:Ventative lens or prism. Instead, I would like t ' share this plan, which is similar but gives us the onus to supply all the necessary and neede equipment. Every one of us who is a member will bring 3 blood pressure machines, 3 Glucome~ers with 50 strips and 100 Lancets, 3 Scales, (portable) 3 thermometers, and 1 Urinalysis machine to the next convention. All these items should not be more than $150.
Where I come from in Mbonge Meteke, we have a clean-up campaign day once every quarter. Everyone is involved i keeping the village clean until about midday. This day could be used for health screening in our villages where everyone is weighed, blood pressure is measured, urinalysis is collected and analyzed, and blood sugar is checked. All these readings are written in a small booklet and tMs becomes the patient's property. In the event there is any abnormality, patient is advised to see a physician with these information. Public service announcements in
our various villages ca be used to escalate awareness on the importance and consequences of periodic health screenings.
One of the advantage of this approach to healthcare in our villages is that the next generation and their health status will be improved. Second, unnecessary deaths will be avoided. A mother lost her life when she 1 as rushed to a hospital in Douala following several days of vomiting and
diarrhea. In their effort~ to help, they killed her because they gave her Dextrose 0.45%, which is sugar without first checking whether she had diabetes. The result was fatal because the Dextrose increased her blood sugar to a dangerously high level and she died. Third, to be forewarned is to be for armed. Knowledge is power.
I read a book several years al entitled "Les Miserable" by Victor Hugo. This book has been translated into several languages because of the impact it had on society. It is a fictional story designed to challenge society on how it treats the delinquent and miserable among us.
The book begins with a young man who stole a loaf of bread because her sister and her children did not have any food to eat. He was arrested and jailed for stealing. Because of his severalattempts to escape fro1 jail, he was released after 19 years. After he was released, he did not have anywhere to go. H! was an ex-convict. So, a Bishop in that city decided to take him in. He stayed with the Bishop for some time and when it became necessary for him to leave; he stole a set of cutlery from the B shop's home. The police saw him with the cutlery and knew he may have stolen again. H was arrested again and brought to the Bishop for him to verify whether he stole the spoons and knives. After a pensive moment, the Bishop tells the police that he actually gave the cutlery to him as a gift. The Bishop helped him to get out of jail because he would have been jail1d again. The Bishop now gives him a long lecture on responsibility. He leaves, and goes to a nearby village where he works hard and opens a factory. That factory hired many people in \that Jill age who become prosperous. It is a long story with numerous characters. So, I will s~ op here and say that I used to be a "Miserable" too. It took me a long time to get my paper to work and go to school in this society. My own people were saying, "What he is doing here "· He is not working and not going to school what then is he doing here? Why is this important? It is important because today he or she may be a miserable but tomorrow he or she 1 ay earn a Ph.D. We all have different backgrounds and biographies. Nevertheless, let us change our approach on how we deal with Oroko people who come here without this green card. Words are powerful. Encourage them, insist that they don't try to circumvent the law bi t by all means, do not discourage them. There is time for everything and everyone has his or her time to shine. Let us develop the ethos of encouraging the miserable among us.
Finally, I have a suggestion to my Oroko Family. I want us to have a prayer line where we meet every month and pray to God. These lines are generally free. Let us get a prayer line from freeconferencing.com and agree to meet on line either at the beginning of the month or at the
end of the month. Let us thank and praise God every month as a group of people for the blessings He bestows n us a family in the U.S. I know there are people who are saying we pray at home yes and there is nothing wrong in thinking that way. However, let us meet on line as a group and ask God to ~ less us. Prayer is the greatest weapon that the church has but someChristians have not discovered the potency of prayer. If you do not want people to know your
challenges, just say un poker.
Misori, Charles Ph.D