When the Mobile Clinic started visiting the health facility, we felt a difference in participation and adherence from the community. The Mobile Clinic established a connection between the health unit and the community. Atanásio Conhesse, Health Unit Director
Director Atanásio observing a patient.
The introduction of the Mobile Clinic has brought many benefits to the population from the communities surrounding the health facilities. Before the introduction of the Mobile Clinic, people "would have to travel a very long distance," to get access to various health services, says the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nurse Manuela Alfino. Now, with the Mobile Clinic's presence at the local health unit "it gets easier for them because they live close to the health unit," she adds.
Ilidio Roque, a patient at the health facility states that "when there was no Mobile Clinic, people would travel from here to Buror [an 18km-distant health facility]. Since the Mobile Clinic started supporting our health center in Mbawa, we are happy because patients come directly to the health facility close to their community. The population is very happy!”
Patients Odete and Henrique talking to the clinician
Catija Zeca Leão, another Mbawa Health Unit patient, shares that
"before the existence of the Mobile Clinic we used to go by bicycle to Buror. but there are some people that have no transportation means. It was very difficult for them to get there. Now that the Mobile Clinic is here, near the health facility, the majority of the patients come here. (…) In the past, few people would come. Now that the Mobile Clinic is here, it gets full; many patients come.”
Just like Manuela, Henrique Pinto, a tuberculosis health volunteer says "before the Mobile Clinic arrived there were many deaths in the community. But when the Mobile Clinic arrived here the deaths diminished. For that reason we like the Clinic a lot.”
The health unit's director Atanásio Conhesse substantiates both Manuela and Henrique’s thoughts by suggesting the Mobile Clinic to be
"an excellent strategy. For example, we have many patients who live on nearby islands. Before the arrival of the Mobile Clinic, patients used to die because they did not have any support close to them. With the Mobile Clinic and through the encouragement of the community leaders, the patients come with a cherished feeling. When they arrive at the health facility, the presence of the Mobile Clinic gives them confidence, and they are in fact treated according to the diagnostics."
Talking about the Mobile Clinic, Elévio Hernesto, who is a general medicine technician working directly with the Mobile Clinic explains:
"When the Mobile Clinic started visiting the health facility, we felt a difference in participation and adherence from the community. The Mobile Clinic establishes a connection between the health facility and the community. (…) The Mobile Clinic is a strategy that calls people to adhere to the health services. This is notable because when the Mobile Clinic is present the health facility gets full of people. The number of patients is lower when the Clinic is not present. We can notice this through the consultation books. We can see, for example in a week that we could anticipate about 150 consultations. When the Mobile Clinic is here it can be double; it can reach 300 consultations. So, that makes us believe the Mobile Clinic is to be a pull factor for people to adhere to the services."
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.