Treatment of patients in their homes (Out-reach activity)NFDHR: ADEL OTHMAN - Sunday, 03 June, 2018
The population of more than 24 villages - distributed on the slopes of the mountains in Al-Rojom district in Al-Mahweet governorate – are suffering from a lack of health services. The population’s need for health services and children’s need for vaccinations are very high and keep increasing on a daily basis, yet there are no health facilities easily accessible to the population. Furthermore, the harsh road conditions and distances between villages prohibit people’s access to Thahban Health Center, the nearest health center to the district. This means that these populations face major obstacles to access primary health care and vaccination for women and children.
For this reason, the National Foundation for Development and Humanitarian Response (NFDHR) has introduced outreach activities within their health interventions project, which targets the eight most priority districts in Al-Mahweet Governorate.
Still, the nature of the rugged mountainous areas surrounding the Thahban Health Center has caused equally difficult obstacles for the medical team to reach the targeted villages. On each Thursday, as dawn approaches, the team carries its bags, a refrigerator for vaccines, medical and diagnostic supplies, pressure gauges and other equipment, as well as canned food and water bottles for a whole day, to reach the villages. This is a heavy burden for the team on foot, but they do it because they understand the need and are committed to helping those who cannot access health care.
"Every Wednesday evening, we contact village elders who will be sent to inform the families, prepare the patients and bring them to a public place that may be the village office, mosque or school," explains Mohammed Hamid al-Bishari, one of the team members and physician assistant at Al-Thahban Health Center .
"When we go to the third level villages, we go out after Fajr prayer because it is very far and through a rugged mountain road. Also, since cars do not reach most of them or do so with difficulty and great financial costs, it takes two to four hours to reach the targeted villages, and we move from one village to another and sometimes work until dusk, not returning to the health Center in Thahban until nightfall.
During their visits, the outreach team provides primary health care services, child immunization against deadly diseases, including tetanus vaccination services. The team also conducts community awareness activities on disease, epidemiology and hygiene prevention, as well as reproductive health and family planning services.
Between March and April,2018 the medical team carried out 9 visits to 32 villages and provided health services to 692 patients, including 74 men, 298 women, 174 boys and 146 girls.
Dr. Rizk Ahmed, a medical assistant, says that the team examines and treats many cases, the most important of which are diarrhea, infections, and child diseases, and they provide these cases with free medicines and referrals to Thahban Center or the Republican Hospital in Al-Mahweet city. For each visit they also try to travel between at least three villages.
He stressed that despite the fatigue and exhaustion of the team, all members feel very happy to help and provide medical service for those in need. They also feel happier when they see the joy from patients from accessing care, treatment and medicines free of charge.