Cameroon: Hippocratic Oath – Medical authorities clarify situation


A meeting to this effect took place last Tuesday at the Ministry of Public Health.

A misunderstanding has recently arisen within the Cameroonian medical nucleus about the swearing-in of doctors. As a result, the 2016 graduates of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Buea and those of the Faculty of Medicine of the Nkolodom district in Yaoundé did not take the Hippocratic Oath upon graduation because they received their diplomas. This particularly concerned the winners of medical, pharmaceutical and dental stomatology specialties.

Without emphasizing too much the importance of the Hippocratic Oath which is a moral code of ethical conduct and practice in medicine, established according to the ideals of Hippocrates, the Ministers of Public Health and Higher Education, André Mama Fouda and Jacques Fame Ndongo respectively, in October On December 4, 2016, he co-chaired a meeting aimed at redressing the situation which seems to have created tensions between the National Order of Medicines, pharmacists, dentists and the country’s medical authorities.

Speaking of the Hippocratic Oath, it was noted that the National Order of Medicines, pharmacists, dental surgeons and the authorities of the Ministry of Higher Education could not agree on how the Hippocratic Oath should be done by the young laureates. It has been decided that they will all meet to hand out the diplomas and ensure that the laureates take the oath. André Mama Fouda said that the misunderstanding that had arisen between the authorities and the medical associations had been resolved. “From now on, we will have the same ceremony with all the medical experts and the authorities involved,” noted Mama Fouda. Although the meeting looked for ways to change the oath, it was realized, however, that there was no need for any change or modification.

The meeting was an opportunity for medical experts to fully understand the history of the Hippocratic Oath, its meaning, the different ways in which the oath is taken in various countries and the context in which the vow is practiced in Cameroon. The Minister of Public Health said the meeting was also an opportunity for officials of public and private medical institutions, heads of medical associations and other experts to review and establish a common timetable for studies and graduation ceremonies of the different medical schools and the importance of holding the graduation ceremonies before the end of this month since the solemn ceremony to start the new academic year is next month.

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