I have always been a fan of the CNN Heroes awards show. Every year I’d sit in front of the TV screen and listen to these extraordinary good deeds done by immensely kind people. Not only did these touching stories make me cry shamelessly but they also made me vow to be the first Cameroonian CNN hero.
But Dr. Georges Bwelle has beat me to it.
Here’s What He Did:
Dr. Georges goes trekking through mud, rivers and jungle to provide free medical care. He offers free weekend surgeries. That is a huge lifesaver given the cost of surgery in Cameroon and the mass number of people who find it increasingly difficult to be able to afford surgery.
This Cameroonian doctor with a big heart is doing us proud. Here’s the story of Dr. Bwelle and why he so deserves to be a Top 10 contender in the ultimate running to be CNN Hero of the year 2013.
For 21 years, Georges Bwelle watched his ill father slip in and out of consciousness, traveling to hospitals that weren’t equipped to help him.
Jamef Bwelle was injured in a 1981 car accident near Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital. He suffered only a broken arm at first, but an infection developed and spread to his brain, creating a hematoma that would affect him for the rest of his life.
“There were no neurosurgeons in Cameroon,” Georges Bwelle said. “We would have taken him out of Cameroon if we had the money.”
Instead, Bwelle spent years escorting his father to overcrowded clinics and hospitals, getting whatever treatment they could get.
“It’s not easy,” Bwelle said. “You can leave home at 5 a.m., running to the hospital to be the first, and you are not the first. There (are) a lot of patients. … Some people can die because they are waiting.”
The situation hasn’t changed much since Bwelle’s father passed away in 2002.
In Cameroon, there is only one doctor for every 5,000 people, according to the World Health Organization. For comparison’s sake, the ratio in the United States is one doctor for every 413 people.
And even if they could see a physician, many Cameroonians couldn’t afford it. Two out of five people in the country live below the poverty line, and nearly three-quarters of the country’s health-care spending is private.
“The only problem they have is poverty,” Bwelle said. “And with poverty, they … cannot enjoy their life.”
Seeing his father and so many of his countrymen suffer, Bwelle was determined to do something about it.
Read the full story on CNN.
DISCLAIMER:Remember, you can vote once a day with your email address – and also through Facebook. IT ONLY TAKES 10 SECONDS! Voting continues until Sunday, November 17, 2013 (11:59pm PT). The CNN Hero of the Year will be revealed, Sunday, Dec. 1, during
“CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” (8pm ET/5pm PT)
Dr Georges is also the founder of non-profit humanitarian organization, Ascovime. For more information on how to get involved or work with them please visit ASCOVIME.FR
Watch Dr. Georges in action.
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