Foundation Sociale Swisse du Nord Cameroun – Hospital Petté

Portrait of a 70 years old swiss doctor Anne-Marie Schönenberger who has conducted a hospital for 40 years in an african province.

Hospital Petté is located in the savannah region of northern Cameroon close to the border with Nigeria and Chad. Dr. Anne-Marie Schönenberger was born in Switzerland but has been living for the past 40 years in the village of Petté where she works as a surgeon and optician. After completing her studies, she could have opened a practice in Switzerland with her friends, but curiosity drew her to the Third World. In 1968 she took over a hospital in Petté, which at the time consisted of just one building that had no running water. Today the hospital is made up of 26 buildings. Every year, between 2,000 and 2,500 patients are treated here. The hospital has a total of 165 beds, six on each ward. Anne-Marie especially values projects aimed at improving the living conditions of the locals. It is her goal to enable people to help themselves to make a better life. She helped create two women’s groups, the ‘Groupe d’Initiative Commune’ (GIC) and the ‘GIC Artisanat Femmes de Petté’. These women were able to set up a sewing workshop, a bakery and a dairy. Helping the locals to help themselves has so far proved a great success.