Above: Zeferina seeking treatment for her hypertension
Zeferina Matapandeu has spent most of her 69 years living in the rural periphery of Furquia, a small village in Namacurra district of Zambézia Province, Mozambique. Early this year, Zeferina fell sick for nearly four months, experiencing neck pain, dizziness and tingling sensations in her left side appendages that came and went. She explored treatment with a traditional healer, which did not provide a cure. When Zeferina was informed that her community would be hosting a Mobile Clinic health fair the next day, she was relieved.
Above: Booths for nutrition and reproductive health and the Furquia Health Fair conducted by a local health facility and Mobile Clinic staff.
“I was informed that at the health fair everyone would have the opportunity to learn about exercise, weight control, health testing for HIV, reproductive health, blood pressure control and nutrition.
When the big day arrived I went to the health fair, and there sat the Mobile Clinic with tents all around it. I was invited to participate in group exercises, as well as a presentation on blood pressure management.
This led me to analyze my symptoms, and by the time I had my consultation that day, it was confirmed. My blood pressure was very high, according to the nurse’s explanation. Fortunately, I received the necessary guidance for proper follow-up of my diagnosis. I praise these health fair initiatives, because communities stand to gain such benefit from the many health professionals and important educational messages. Thanks to the health fair I discovered the real problem with my health, and I can properly control it.”
Zeferina even encouraged her local health unit to offer the health fairs monthly in order to motivate more community engagement.
Above: A crowd of local community members greet the Mobile Clinic for the health fair.
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.