Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham Supports Health Care Efforts in Cameroon

Date: January 18, 2017

Gifted equipment will be re-purposed in area of need

NEEDHAM, MASS. — Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham (BID–Needham) recently made several large donations of used medical equipment, which will be utilized to improve health care in Cameroon, Africa. The donations will directly support Microhealth Global Medical Center, in Mbengwi, Cameroon, West Africa.

The Microhealth Global organization builds integrated health and health care programs that combine mobile health care clinics, motorbike ambulances and follow-up visits at homes of villagers. The medical center in Cameroon provides screenings and treatments in the areas of HIV/AIDs, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, malaria, cancer, dental diseases, tuberculosis, malnutrition, counseling, education and mentoring.

“In a study of disease trends, the World Health Organization illustrates a shift in diseases from developed countries to developing and to third world countries,” said Agwo Tata, M.S., M.Ed., LP.D, President and CEO of Microhealth Global Consulting, Inc., and Sr. Data and Systems Integration Analyst, Community Hospitals Data and Systems Integration Liaison at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.  “The correlation is that some of the equipment, supplies and medications used have become obsolete and are no longer needed at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham.”

Dr. Tata and Kenneth Edwards load up a small van full of medical supplies at BID–Needham

Dr. Tata lost his mother to a preventable disease after complications from dehydration in his hometown in Africa. The loss inspired Tata to find creative ways to replenish medical resources in areas of Africa that would otherwise not have access. Recently, volunteers from the organization loaded up three vans full of equipment at the hospital to be re-purposed. Biomedical engineers will validate or repair all of the equipment donated before being shipped to Africa.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” said Kenneth Edwards, Director of Facilities Management at BID–Needham.  “We are able to recycle equipment that is no longer essential to us, and they will make great use of all of the equipment in an impactful way. Helping the volunteers load the vans was the best feeling I’ve had in my three years here.”

Robert Ackerman, Director of Information Services at BID–Needham, connected Dr. Tata with Edwards, who he knew had a thorough understanding of what equipment is no longer needed at the hospital, and could benefit this program.

“[Dr. Tata] is on a mission to try and improve healthcare in Africa,” Ackerman said. “I hope that more of this will happen and we will keep this channel open to make sure that this gear is in good hands.”

Dr. Tata said he has seen the benefits firsthand, and assures the equipment will be put to good use

“As one of the beneficiaries of the equipment and supplies and as a shepherd organization for Microhealth Global Medical Center, in Mbengwi, Cameroon, I want to say thank you to the leadership and staff of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham, on behalf of the villagers of the region,” he said.

To get involved or for more information about the organization, visit