Mobile care, the delivery of services by health workers on the move in a variety of transportation modes, is a tremendous innovation for the extension of healthcare to populations living beyond the reach of static facilities. In certain cases, mobile care has been shown to be more effective than static facilities, serving many more people with the same equipment and recovering a larger portion of its operating costs. The majority of CHMI mobile care programs operates in rural geographies and delivers basic primary care, although a substantial number of programs work in family planning and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and MNCH.
Many CHMI mobile health programs exhibit one of three common models. Health camps are large-scale initiatives that have more of a preventative rather than curative focus. Like those run by the Afya Kenya Foundation, health camps aim to provide basic health education, preventative care, and health screenings to a wide portion of the population. The second type is the mobile clinic, which is usually smaller and offers basic services similar to those of a primary health facility. Organizations like Unite For Sight utilize this model to provide regular health services to underserved communities. Mobile clinics are usually run by a team of doctors or nurses enabling them to address a greater variety of patient complaints on a regular schedule conducive to the development of closer patient-doctor relationships. Lastly, mobile facilities are vehicles equipped with some of the same medical equipment present in a static primary care center or hospital, such as laboratories or operating theaters. Pro Mujer in Peru provides dental and sonogram services in adapted vehicles. This model has the capacity to deliver higher-level curative care.
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Navio Abaré is a floating medical unit that provides primary health care services to isolated Amazon communities in the state of Pará, Brazil.