Mozambique: Access to healthcare made easier though a mobile clinic.
Tânia lives in Mararange, Montepuez, one of the many districts in Cabo Delgado Province affected by the armed conflict in Mozambique. There is a shortage of health-care services in her community, and it takes her an hour to walk the long distance to find medical care.
Tânia's plight is shared by thousands of displaced persons and residents in Mararange and seven other nearby villages.
"We would go to Mirate (in another village) to receive care. We suffered a lot because we would set off in the morning and not get back until the end of the day," she said.
To provide easier access to health care for Tânia and her community, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) opened a mobile clinic with capacity to attend to more than 54,000 people, including around 500 persons displaced by the armed conflict in Cabo Delgado. Today, the mobile clinic sees an average of 200 people a day, providing both treatment and prevention of diseases.
"Now, as soon as we feel any pain, we come here and they take care of us," added Tânia. The health-care facility is just a few minutes walk for those who live in the Mararange IDP centre and other neighbouring areas.
"The creation of this mobile clinic represents a positive milestone, as can be seen by how many patients come to seek medical attention. One of the biggest impacts is that people no longer have to travel long distances, and the other is that it has eased pressure on the Mirate Health Centre", said Valério Zacarias, the mobile clinic's general practitioner.
"We provide services to displaced persons and residents within a five-kilometer radius." Adds Valério.
Every week, the district authorities send health professionals to assist the population. These include pharmacists, general practitioners, paediatricians and specialists in preventive medicine and maternal and child health. The most commonly diagnosed diseases are malaria and malnutrition in infants aged 0 to 12 months.
The opening of the Mararange mobile clinic is part of an integrated ICRC response to improve access to health care for people affected by violence in Cabo Delgado. Since the start of the year, ICRC has facilitated opening of six renovated and expanded health centres in Pemba and Montepuez. In addition, a hospital is being built in Ibo.
Expansion of the drinking water distribution system in Montepuez is also part of this integrated response to improve the health of communities, as it prevents waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera.