In Mozambique, Health Care Is Hitting the Road
By Arsenio Manhice | May 3, 2013
Working with the U.S. government, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation will launch three mobile clinics on May 9 in Xai-Xai city, the capital of Gaza Province in the southern region of Mozambique.
The event will be hosted by Douglas M. Griffiths, U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique, and the governor of Gaza province, Raimundo Diomba. Others in attendance will include CDC country manager Edgar Monterroso and Fernando Morales, the national director of EGPAF Mozambique.
These clinics are the first of five planned mobile clinics (MC), and will reinforce health services and increase access to antiretroviral therapy to reduce the incidence of HIV in southern Mozambique.
The mobile clinics will offer HIV counseling, testing, and psychological support services; HIV care and treatment; and laboratory services, including testing for syphilis and malaria and CD4 count testing.
The idea for using mobile clinics arose in response to Mozambique’s efforts to reach 80 percent coverage of access to antiretroviral therapy and increase access to male circumcision, HIV counseling and testing, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs. PEPFAR/CDC recently launched a similar mobile clinic program in Zambezia Province in central Mozambique. These offerings represent a bold new approach for increasing access to services in rural areas with the highest HIV prevalence in Mozambique. The mobile clinic in Gaza Province will serve the region hardest-hit by AIDS; the area has a 25.1 percent HIV prevalence.
In addition to HIV prevention and care and treatment, the mobile clinics will reinforce local health service offerings and target mother and child health (MCH) and tuberculosis.
We’ll be sharing photos and stories from the event next week on the blog. To learn more about our work in Mozambique, click here.
Arsenio Manhice is Communications and Advocacy Officer for the Foundation, based in Maputo, Mozambique.