The mobile clinics provide mobile health services to rural and remote populations on a fixed route schedule. The core target group for this programme are rural employees, and their dependents (adults, children and babies) whose employers contribute towards the cost of the healthcare through annual subscription and premium contributions. Other community members not enrolled in the subscription payment plan through their employer can utilize the mobile clinic on a fee-for-service basis. Poor communities, pensioners and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC’s) on the mobile clinic route will receive the same service paid for by the contributions of medication from the Ministry of Health, donors and corporate sponsorships.
The mobile clinics are supported through an innovative partnership structure comprised of public and private contributions. The sustainability of the system lies in the contributions of rural employers to the scheme, corporate sponsorships, provision of medication in kind by the Ministry of Health and Social Services and donor contributions for most at risk/poor populations.
The clinics are 4-ton Mitsubishi Canters (4X4 model) with two consultation rooms, a toilet and a small pharmacy. Each consultation room is equipped with running water, air conditioning and a fridge. If a site has no electricity supply, the clinic has a generator and a battery for this purpose. The mobile clinics adhere to all requirements as set forth by the Ministry of Health and Social Services and are in possession of a registration certificate to operate as mobile primary health care clinics.
The mobile clinics stop at central sites on a given route once a month. Staff make use of accommodation and meal facilities provided by farmers/lodges on route.
Patients visiting the mobile clinic are provided with all services which can be offered by a registered nurse. These include but are not limited to: confirmation of pregnancy and routine ante- and post-natal care; family planning advice and supplies (including oral and injectable contraception), routine immunizations which are part of the MOHSS vaccination program, well child care and monitoring, screening for TB symptoms, voluntary counseling and testing for HIV, and fiagnosis and treatment of routine communicable disease (e.g., respiratory infections, malaria, sexually transmitted infections, diarrhoea and vomiting, worms and parasites, skin infections). The mobile clinics will also provide testing, referral and follow up on chronic diseases, such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, treatment (including suturing) for minor trauma, and information, education and communication on all relevant health matters.
At the end of January 2012, there were 53 participating farms (employers) on the Mister Sister outreach route, with approximately 4900 individuals registered on the electronic database (potential patients). As of February 2012, there were 4630 patient visits from 1824 patients.