Total Health Center
The Himalayan Institute Total Health Center in Cameroon pioneers access to curative and preventative holistic healthcare, providing a range of natural health products, yoga therapy, lifestyle counseling, and public health education and outreach. In 2011 alone, the Total Health Centers and Mobile Unit served over 25,000 people in the Bui Division of Cameroon.
These health services shore up gaps in the conventional medical system, whose overburdened doctors seldom have time to address the underlying lifestyle choices responsible for sickness and poor health. Total Health Consultants are trained in the community’s most prevalent health issues, including digestive tract ailments, joint pain and arthritis, cough and cold, fever, blood sugar problems, anxiety and depression. They staff our local health centers and provide nutritional supplements, Ayurvedic herbal products, homeopathy, literature on healthy living, dental hygiene products, and reading glasses. In addition, each center offers community health services such as free yoga classes and educational programs about diet, exercise, hygiene, and public health issues.
Public Health Outreach
Total Health Consultants hold regular seminars with cooperatives, farming unions, women’s groups, and at Total Health branch centers covering common preventable health problems, hygiene, sanitation, diet, exercise, and stress management. These public outreach events provide an opportunity for the program to reach a wider audience, encouraging the spread of a new, holistic health paradigm.
Training Total Health Consultants
In May 2008, twelve students were chosen to take a six-week Total Health training program covering the Total Health philosophy with a strong emphasis on hands-on experience in basic public health education and dispensary services. The training curriculum was developed by the Institute’s team of medical and holistic health practitioners. Five custom herbal formulations and a once-daily multivitamin have been created by the Himalayan Institute especially for the Total Health Center. In addition, about 50 homeopathic remedies were chosen for the conditions observed in Cameroon. Upon completion of the training program, all twelve students became certified Total Health consultants. They now run the Total Health branch centers or consult patients and distribute remedies through their own micro-enterprises.
The Himalayan Institute Cameroon delivers holistic and preventative health solutions to isolated rural populations in Northwest Cameroon through the Total Health mobile unit. Rural villagers face additional healthcare challenges, as local government clinics are plagued by power failures and water shortages, with only intermittent oversight by doctors. To reach healthcare, the inhabitants of these villages must brave arduous trips over poorly kept roads where breakdowns are common and the nearest village may be miles away. The trip to a hospital is more than an ill patient can handle, greatly limiting treatment options.
In order to address the health concerns of these isolated communities and to expand the coverage of the Total Health program, the Himalayan Institute Cameroon brings health solutions directly to patients with the mobile unit. Each week the mobile team drives to a different community with a vehicle full of medicinal herbs, vitamin supplements, Neti Wash Neti Pots, New Vision reading glasses, homeopathic remedies and a host of other natural health products. The mobile unit team is made up of three members: a trained Total Health consultant, a Total Health pharmacist, and a public relations specialist.
A temporary Total Health Center is set up alongside the vehicle, complete with a private consultation room and benches for the waiting patients. The back of the vehicle becomes the pharmacy where patients go to fill their prescriptions. Through loudspeakers, the public relations specialist announces the arrival of the Total Health Center to the people of the market place. Each time that the Total Health Center mobile unit visits a community, 100 – 200 free consultations are given. The mobile unit returns to each community every couple months on a regular rotation, in order to best serve its clients.
The Himalayan Institute’s Total Health Centers have proven that preventative medicine is the best way to bring affordable, sustainable healthcare to the people of Cameroon. By putting the center on wheels, the Total Health program is reaching smaller, more isolated villages and serving an ever broadening population.