Dr. Georges Bwelle, a general surgeon at the central hospital in Cameroon’s capital, assembles a team of medical volunteers, buys medications, equipment, and surgical supplies for weekend missions throughout the dry season. He plans out the entire year with specially selected destinations where he and his team set up a field clinic, operating room, and pharmacy for the villagers and neighboring people. At these clinics he provides free consultations, examinations, medications, and operations if necessary.
Dr. Bwelle has been running these health and education campaigns for the past 10 years, and mostly out of his own modest wallet. From 8 to 5 during the week, Dr. Bwelle works at the large Central Hospital of Yaounde as a surgeon and gastroenterologist. Meanwhile, he’s thinking about the logistics and finances of his next weekend mission to help the rural people of Cameroon. His pay isn’t enough (~$500/month) to support his family and the health campaigns, so he performs private moonlight surgeries. At 6am and 6pm about 3-4 days a week, Dr. Bwelle is doing private surgery to pay for the transport, supplies, and medications that he gives away.
While on the weekend missions, he seems to acquire an energy boost and typically works for 40 out of 48 hours spent in each rural village. One particular Friday, Dr. Bwelle and I traveled two hours on jungle dirt roads to the Raquel Bruc de Yemessoa Hospital. A seven-year-old boy had a swollen stomach and an edema in his foot, so Dr. Bwelle was called in to diagnose and treat him. The boy was poor, sick, abandoned by his family, and the hospital wouldn’t provide treatment unless he paid. Not only did Dr. Bwelle diagnose the boy, but he paid for his medical expenses. He constantly modeled selfless care with his commitment to patients who cannot help themselves and his resolve to never turn a patient down.
Quote from HITIP.org
“Georges of the Jungle is the Robin Hood of Africa. Georges Bwelle is a surgeon at the Central Hospital in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. He works at the hospital during the week and on the weekends he travels with his team into the jungle to treat the sick. His method is simple: Provide free medical care to marginalized, destitute populations in the rainforests of Africa.
After studying medicine in Cameroon, Georges-Roger Motto Bwelle spent 15 months in Brussels, Belgium to further his knowledge of vascular surgery. When he returned home, he ran the medical center in Bengis, a small, impoverished community in southern Cameroon.
Then he got the idea to build a global network of medical professionals and student interns to provide free health services to poor regions throughout the African continent. In July 2008, Georges created the non-profit organization ASCOVIME which focuses on health and education issues.”