Dr. Landry Kamdem Kamdem, an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Harding University College of Pharmacy recently completed a third HIV mission trip to Cameroon Africa with a team that included Harding University Pharmacy Students and Christian Research Hospital (CRH) Foundation volunteers.
CRH is a nonprofit organization with its mission focused on working with local communities to end physical and spiritual ailments among the poorest and sickest of the world through education, care, and research. CRH was created May 21, 2016 and has conducted three mission trips since then.
“During the first mission trip we helped make the lives of the poorest and sickest better by providing free medication counseling,” Kamdem Kamdem said. “But a single divine event transformed CRH.”
On June 19, 2016, Dr. Kamdem met Christopher Ngwa on the streets of Douala in Cameroon (Africa).
“He came up to me and hesitantly and politely said ‘I am HIV positive. I might have AIDS. I'm coughing. I have lost my entire family to HIV. My children, my spouse, and our newborn twins are all gone. I'm the only survivor. I'm approaching you because I need help. I get free HIV medications. But in order to get my refills, I need to pay for HIV monitoring tests. The test itself costs $20. I have been begging with no avail. I'm hoping that you will help.’”
When CRH returned to the USA, it changed.
“The organization decided to become a beggar like Christopher Ngwa,” Kamdem Kamdem said. “There were times when our personal ego almost stopped us. Our pride always wanted to take over. Why are we working extra shifts to sell CRH merchandise and raise funds? Why can't we enjoy TV professional sport games? Why do we go through these struggles? But every time, we reflected on the price Jesus had to pay for mankind to go to heaven, and we were quickly reminded that our cross, pain, and suffering are nothing compared to what He had to endure.”
Between June 12 and July 12, 2017, Kamdem Kamdem and his spouse Dr Carine Kamdem Kamdem returned to Cameroon for CRH second mission trip. They visited five main HIV treatment centers in Shisong, Nkar, Djottin, BBH, and Mokolo and adopted a total of 431 patients who benefited from a variety of free services such as free medication adherence counseling, free viral load tests, free CD4 tests, and free treatment for opportunistic infections such as cryptococcal meningitis and Kaposi’s sarcomas.
June 1, 2018, Kamdem Kamdem returned with his spouse and three of his P4 pharmacy students, Shirley Cheung, Evgeniya Salenok, and Allisyn Stroupe for their health and wellness rotation entitled “Precision HIV Education, Care, and Research in Central Africa, Cameroon.”
During the mission trip, Kamdem Kamdem says Harding pharmacy students improved and fine-tuned their Christian servant leadership skills. On June 9, 2018, they completed the first phase of their third CRH HIV medical and educational mission in Mokolo and adopted 289 patients. June 15, 2018, they completed the second phase of their third mission trip in Mvog-Betsi and adopted 231 more patients.
“Since June 19, 2016, CRH has adopted 920 HIV patients and our services include providing free education to orphans that cannot afford to go to school, free viral load, and free tuberculosis screening tests to the poorest and sickest,” Kamdem Kamdem said.