A WEEK IN THE LIFE: MOBILE CLINIC
The mobile clinic is one of STEP-IN’s original projects. Developed especially to serve displaced Iraqis and local populations living without proper access to healthcare. Whether this be due to location, economic barriers, or simply the underdeveloped infrastructure and overburdened healthcare facilities of the region. Each morning our field team load up our trusty Toyota with tables, chairs, portable batteries, medications, registration and prescription forms, laboratory equipment (and up to 9 staff members!) and set off to one of four locations.
Upon reaching their destination, our team unpack the van and reception begin the long process of registration. We have the capacity to accept up to 100 patients each day and do so frequently. Every patient is registered onto our database and has a medical file created for them. Although this is considered a standard procedure in most of the world, it is not often practiced in the region. Before a patient even encounters a doctor we measure blood pressure (hypertension is one of our most prevalent diagnoses), pulse, weight, and help them to complete a basic questionnaire.
Mobile Clinic Statistics (2019):
8074 patients received a GP consultation or check-up with one of our doctors at the mobile clinic.
1096 of these patients were aged 15 years old or younger.
1755 of these patients went on to receive diagnostic tests (a total of 8941 tests, approx. 5 tests per patient).
Top Diagnoses from Mobile Clinic (2019):
3) Non-Specific Chronic Pain
Each patient then receives a general check-up or specific consultation with one of our brilliant doctors. If diagnostic tests are required we can even provide some on-site, with the results becoming available to our doctors within 30 minutes. If more complex tests are required, a secondary appointment is made and the tests are completed at our facilities in Dawoodia.
Following their consultation our patients can then precede to our portable pharmacy, run by our capable, local pharmacists, to receive their required medication immediately and without cost. Diagnostics are inputted into the patient’s online file to aid effective clinical evaluations and decision-making in the future and to generate a statistical epidemiological report for STEP-IN’s own evaluation purposes as well as the WHO through weekly epidemiological reports from each clinic.
|Each and every Monday our mobile clinic departs from Duhok and heads out to Sharya village. This is our main destination due to the high demand provided by residents of the nearby Sharya (Yezidi) Camp. In this village we use a community centre, lent to us by our incredible field partner organisation Jesuit Refugee Service, to house our reception, pharmacy, private consultation rooms, and waiting area.|
|On Tuesdays our mobile clinic stays at home-base for a much needed restock. Our entire field team head to our Dawoodia health centre to provide extra care for our beneficiaries there, apart from our talented physiotherapist, Elizabeth and her translator Shihab, who remain at Sharya to provide individual and group sessions to our beneficiaries.|
|On Wednesdays the mobile clinic returns yet again to Sharya. On an average week, over two visits, we receive around 180-200 patients at this location.|
|Every other Thursday we make the long journey into the mountains to visit the village of Balqosh. Each village on our schedule was chosen through a thorough assessment process, taking into consideration their access (or lack thereof) to healthcare facilities, their location and resultant costly transport services, and the health needs of the community.|
|On alternate Fridays we visit the remaining villages on our schedule, Sina and Gersheen. Sina is located near Sharya so as well as serving the local population, we also find that those who were unable to visit us on Monday and Wednesday, journey to Sina specifically for our services.
Gersheen, like many locations in Kurdistan, is a rural village set amongst mountains and mist. Like many of our journeys, the road is frequently blocked by a tribe of goats…