These diseases can cause considerable suffering, and they represent a high societal burden. According to recent reports of the Global Burden of Disease, these Neurological Diseases are the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death worldwide. About 12 out of 100 deaths are caused by neurological diseases. The major neurological diseases contributing to disability include stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases, Alzheimer`s disease and other dementias, and migraine headaches. The three leading neurological causes of death are stroke, dementias and meningitis. Of all these conditions, stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders are by far the most frequent cause of death, accounting for more than 80 percent of fatalities. For most neurological disorders, inexpensive and effective treatments are available, for example, up to 70% of people living with epilepsy could become seizure free with appropriate antiepileptic drug treatments, but the proportion of patients of patients who remain untreated is still high. Increased accessibility to affordable and reliable neurological services at the Buea Regional Hospital are crucial to reducing these diagnostic and management gaps in the high burden of neurological disorders in the South West Region, and Cameroon as a whole. Appropriate neurological examination, diagnostic tests and outpatient services will be essential for the adequate diagnosis and management of neurological disorders in the hospital, and these measures need to be coupled with enhanced and improved preventive measures. Access to Neurological Services at the Buea Regional Hospital include the following: The Buea Regional Hospital has some access to basic and specialized services for the management of neurological disorders in the South West Region, even if more investment is needed to improve and increase accessibility to the services. Neurological diseases as stroke, epilepsy, headaches, meningitis and other communicable diseases related to the complications of HIV/AIDS are routinely managed in the hospital. Brain disorders, comprising mental, neurological and substance-use conditions, constitute 13 percent of the global burden of disease, surpassing both cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Access to Neurological care in the hospital include the following:
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- Access to Neurologists and General Physicians trained in primary healthcare and neurology, who can diagnose and manage neurologic diseases.
- Access to nurses with expertise in the care of neurological diseases as stroke and dementias.
- Access to specialists trained in Internal Medicine and Paediatrics who can provide consultative clinical services to patients suffering from varied neurological diseases.
- Access to basic laboratory screening tests, including blood, urine, and CSF tests, X-rays, and electrocardiogram.
- Access to basic neuroimaging tests, including CT under construction, EEG, and ultrasound imaging.
- Access to specialist hospital and outpatient rehabilitation therapy, including physiotherapy, cognitive therapy treatment.
- Access to essential treatments, including but not limited to the 2015 WHO Model List and additional neurological medicines as antiepileptic drugs, drugs used in the treatment of Parkinson`s Disease, and other effective medications for various neurological disorders.
- Variable access to primary and secondary preventive services.
The Buea Regional Hospital has also been a key component at the local and national level in the implementation of the World Brain Day in collaboration with other non-governmental organizations as the BRAIN, the Brain Research Africa through its Brain Week in Cameroon initiatives.
The “World Brain Day,” is an event dedicated to bringing more attention to the importance of brain health and the prevention of brain diseases. The main objective of this day of the brain is to increase public awareness and promote advocacy related to brain health. According to Dr Raad Shakir, the former President of the World Federation of Neurology (WFN), “There is no health without brain health. Our brain is our most amazing and complex organ, and its functioning is most closely linked to the health of the whole human being”.