St. Louis University Institute
2-4 JUNE 2011
Chev. Leo Thys, GOTJ and Dr. Chev. Francis Somville, KTJ both from the Priory of Belgium visited the St. Louis Clinic and School in Bamenda, Republic of Cameroon, Africa. See pictures and news stories of the visit here
To view the professional career and achievements of Chev. Dr Nick Ngwanyam is a most humbling experience. His story can be likened to the “Phoenix from the Ashes”.
Some 18 years ago, at great personal and professional risk, he fought government tyranny and corruption by exposing a case of “torture resulting in death”. The repercussions were swift, with Dr Ngwanyam spending life as a virtual refugee is his own country. Several years later when the persecution had finally ceased, although a former Chief Surgeon, he was unable to find a position in any state run hospital.
Not a stranger to adversity, or shy of a challenge, he started practicing from a small rented garage. As most of his patients didn’t have the money to pay fees, Dr Ngwanyam provided his service by contra-deal or barter. This arrangement sowed the seeds towards the founding of the St. Louis Clinic - a small general care hospital and out-patient service - and his “people-orientated” philosophy.
Under the firm guidance of Dr Ngwanyam, the enterprise expanded to become the St. Louis Group, covering all aspects of general health care, later diversifying into formal tertiary education with the establishment of the St. Louis Higher Institute of Health (College of Nursing, including the sole paramedic training facility in the entire region), and more recently the St. Louis University Institute of Health and Biomedical Sciences.
Chev. Ngwanyam has always been community focused, providing means for others to help themselves. Through a series of self-initiated community development programmes, he is currently tackling such issues as low-cost housing, vocational training, job creation schemes, and the implementation of minor infrastructure (irrigation, drainage, solar power etc.).
From a personal and professional perspective, I have never seen such a proactive, creative force of energy nor intellect. Chev. Nick Ngwanyam sees opportunities where others see obstacles.
He is a medical doctor, academic, businessman, project manager, lobbyist, community leader and humanitarian. Most especially, Nick Ngwanyam is a fine example of a modern Templar.
For more information, visit St. Louis University Institute website.