Mozambique: Mozambique Mobile Clinic Project
203 New HIV Patients: Q4 2015
March 19, 2016
Summary of Activities
During the fourth quarter of 2015, the Mobile Clinic continued the implementation of the strategy presented in January 2012. The main activities of the Mobile Clinic include provision of: primary health care to the populations of Furquia and Mbawa, HIV diagnostic, care and treatment services including integrated TB/ HIV services for co-infected patients, antenatal health services and universal ART to pregnant and lactating women, health care services and early diagnosis of HIV in infants born to HIV positive women, diagnostic services for TB and TB/HIV co-infected patients’ treatment and care and the transport of extra stock of medicine and medical supplies in preparation for potential flooding (and subsequent HF isolation) during the rainy season.
Helping in Furquia
6 different support groups are helping the community in areas such as home based care, mothers to mothers groups, traditional birth attendants, traditional healers, DOTs volunteers, Epidemic Total Control (ETC) and Polyvalent Elementary Health Agent (APES)
203 new HIV patients were enrolled in clinical care this quarter meaning more and more people are getting treated while the number of infected is continuing to decrease.
Counseling and Testing
In this reporting period 694 pregnant women were registered at ANC services in the two health units. Women continue to receive counseling and HIV testing to prepare them for a safe and healthy pregnancy.
RMF’s Mobile Clinic in Mozambique is a new model of healthcare provision for our organization, conceptualized to reach remote and rural communities with no prior access to health care. Since its inception in 2008, our Mobile Clinic has been hugely successful and remains the only mobile clinic in all of Mozambique. The clinic, a collaboration between RMF, Vanderbilt University’s Friends in Global Health, and Medical Mission International, is currently deployed in one of the most populous provinces of Mozambique, Zambézia Province, located in the central coastal region with a population of almost 4 million.
- To improve the quality of life and provide access to health services, particularly access to maternal-child healthcare and anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for people living with HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and other diseases.
- To provide access to healthcare in remote areas of Zambézia Province, Mozambique.
- To reinforce the expansion of HIV care and treatment services initiated by the Zambézia Provincial Health Directorate (DPS), by providing temporary reinforcement in terms of staff, training, and space for peripheral health units initiating implementation of ART until such time as the DPS can organize the infrastructure and resources necessary for these sites to function independently.
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Partner Involvement in Antenatal Consultations
The support provided by the Mobile Clinic team to the male involvement in the antenatal consultation effort at Furquia’s health unit is a success. Almost all pregnant women now come to their antenatal consultations accompanied by their partner. Daily lectures given by FGH trained counselors and peer educators play a major role in the change in male behavior in Furquia’s community. One beautiful couple that came to the health unit talks about their experience:
“I have been living with my partner for twelve years and we have seven sons. My partner is four months pregnant now. I fought with her because she was inviting me to go with her to the consultation. I told her she was exaggerating too much because my parents and other family members had been going to the consultations without the need of the husbands, except when there would be big troubles. It was difficult to convince me to accompany my partner to the consultation because it is not customary for husbands to go with their partners to the antenatal consultations, even with lectures given at the health unit and at the community.
Today I have received the fourth convocation [to go to the health unit]. Thanks to the lectures that I received both at the health unit and in the community, I started reflecting about the importance of my presence at my partner’s consultations. I realized my presence is important both for us and the nurse. If a problem is found, my partner does not have to go home a talk to me about it because I will be there, I’ll be present in that exact moment (…). Today I have become a key person in counseling other men that have the same doubts I have had.”
The Impact of the Mobile Clinic on Children with Acute Malnutrition
A group of mothers supported by the Mobile Clinic has been conducting important work resulting in a change of behaviors, beliefs and habits that have negative influence on children and pregnant women’s feeding. The group meets each Wednesday to share information about health and nutrition.
“I live alone with my children. My husband is in South Africa, where he works,” Danucha Gonsalvez tells us. “At this moment I’ve got my last child, a two year old. She had been sick, she would take treatment and sometimes would get better, but she would become sick again. She wouldn’t go through a week without becoming sick again: weight loss, wounds in her mouth, sometimes diarrhea. On her last weight control consultation she had five kilograms and was referred to the nutritional rehabilitation program.
There, I received information about children’s nutrition, on how to make enriched porridges and how to supplement with Plumpy Nut. Today, after three months on treatment, my child presents improvements. There’s weight gain. She has now seven kilograms (…). I would like to congratulate the Mothers’ Group for having taught me how to make enriched porridges with resources locally available at our communities. Thank you.”
The Mobile Clinic Supports Tuberculosis Activists in the Screening and Follow-up of Tuberculosis Patients
Tuberculosis activists receive trainings and guidance from the Mobile Clinics team. These activists have a very important role in the communities: to give medications, observe the intake of medication by patients, and to collect samples for tuberculosis screening.
“My name is Lourindo Waruma, I’m 33 years old and I was born in Furquia, Namacurra District in Zambézia (…). Four months ago I got sick. I had a cough, weight loss, tiredness, appetite loss, emaciation, and sometimes I would sweat during the night. I did the bath, puff [traditional healing] and traditional dancing without any results. My body was only getting weaker.
In the community where I live there are some activists that link the community to the health unit. They arrived at my home and talked to me about the disease and gave me some flasks to deposit [spit] samples, which they would come collect and take to the health center the next day. Two days later came the request for me to go to the health unit for tuberculosis follow-up and treatment.
I have been doing the treatment up to today. This month is the fifth month I’ve been on treatment, and I present significant improvement (…). Every day I receive and take the medication at home under the instructions of tuberculosis activists.”