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Project information

Play nurse for children in hospital in Cameroon

Play is an important tool to distract children undergoing hospital treatment.
Fund a local nurse to maintain and manage a playroom for sick children in hospital and for HIV infected children being treated as outpatients in Bamenda Regional Hospital, Cameroon.


Charity information: Maternal & Childhealth Advocacy International

Maternal & Childhealth Advocacy International logo
  • Need


    Hospital treatment can be distressing for children, who do not understand why they must wait for long periods and undergo painful procedures.
    In the UK it is taken for granted that children in hospital will have access to toys and play specialists, but this is a completely new concept in many low income countries, including Cameroon.
    Here, sick children appear sad, depressed and listless. HIV infected children, who must attend clinics frequently for blood tests etc, are particularly affected.


    By creating a play area near the children's ward and providing toys, fun and interaction, the children are distracted from their surroundings and treatments. Simple toys like a ball and some bubbles can give delight to the children and reduce the trauma of distressing procedures and treatments.
    A dedicated play nurse can provide distraction and play for children who are ill in hospital and encourage attendance for chronically ill children who are outpatients.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To establish play for sick children in Bamenda Regional Hospital, Cameroon


    » To provide funds to provide secure employment for the play nurse
    » To increase the stock of play materials and maintain the play room

    What success will look like

    By having funding in place for the wages of the play nurse. By ensuring there is a stock of toys in the playroom, maintained by the nurse, and that children are playing with them.

  • Impact


    Long term Changes:
    All staff working with sick children will understand the value of play.
    HIV positive children will find clinic attendance less distressing.
    Success demonstrated:
    By play and distraction during medical procedures becoming a part of the children's ward routine.
    By increased attendance of HIV positive children at their regular clinic.
    Playroom usage figures.


    Lack of local support to play nurse and play facility.

    The project team make regular visits to Cameroon to asses and monitor progress. Training and advice will be available face to face during these visits from a trained hospital play specialist. Support is available at any time via the in-country MCAI administrator and UK Programme team.


    We produce detailed reports following each visit, which are made available, along with regular news items, on our website and Facebook page. We also report through our newsletters, which are circulated to all donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £4,300

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,800 Wages wages for three years for play nurse
      £500 Play materials upating and increasing variety of play materials
      £2,000 Play Specialist costs 2 visits by UK Play Specialist / advisor
  • Background


    Bamenda Regional Hospital is the main government hospital providing children's services in the NW region of Cameroon. The town of Bamenda has a population of 500,000 and the hospital also serves the children from surrounding rural districts.


    The hospital admits 120 sick children per month to the children's ward. 50 outpatients are seen every day and over 400 HIV positive children are being cared for. All of these will benefit from the play nurse and play room.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    MCAI has been working in Cameroon since 2001; with an in-country project manager based in Bamenda Regional Hospital. A number of MCAI-led projects are in place to improve the care of pregnant women, their babies and children. We particularly contribute to preventing mother to child transmission of HIV and caring for HIV infected children.
    The play room was set up and equipped, and training in play was provided to the local nurses during a visit by UK specialists volunteering for MCAI.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Evodia Tibah

    Play nurse Maintain playroom and equipment; maximise use by sick children; ensure distraction & play become routine on wards and for outpatients .

    Sally Hitchings

    UK based play specialist. Providing ongoing support, advice and further training. She will visit Cameroon at least twice during the project.

    Mary Shiyghan

    MCAI in-country administrator. Financial control and administrative support.

    Dr Alison Earley

    MCAI Trustee and Cameroon Project Lead. Overall co-ordination of programme within MCAI's Cameroon activities. Monitoring and evaluation, reporting.