As health sector worsens and access to healthcare delivery becomes more difficult in Nigerian rural communities, mobile clinic initiative appears to be providing healthcare alternatives in the rural settlements.
Caritas Nigeria has deployed mobile clinics through its E-Ranger bikes to carry out meningitis vaccination across rural communities in Nigeria. Also, in Bulanyaki community, Sokoto State Nigeria, pregnant women do not seek antenatal care because of the remoteness of the area and lack of medical attention. In an effort to address the health challenge in the area, the Local Government Authority sends a mobile clinic van to provide antenatal services in Bulanyaki community. Staffed with a nurse, the mobile clinic now visits Bulanyaki every Tuesday; women from and around Bulanyaki community come out in a large number to access healthcare via the mobile health.
The rural people of Edo State Nigeria are beneficiaries of Pampers Mobile Clinic, the CSR initiative of Procter and Gamble West Africa. At the Demonstration Primary School, Abudu, young mothers trooped out from the surrounding communities to take free medical consultation and gifts of Pampers diapers for their babies. Mr. Omolola Morgan, the mobile clinic Doctor, gave medical attention to young mothers and counseled them on how to take care of their babies in their peculiar circumstance of not having easy access to hospitals.
The Pampers Mobile Clinic has been offering consultations and giving free expert and on-the-spot medical advice, allowing mothers address pressing worries such as feeding habits, breastfeeding, sleep pattern, vaccination and common ailments in various rural and semi-urban communities in Nigeria.
According to Patricia Obozuwa, Head, External Relations for P&G West Africa, the company began this program three years ago to assist women and their babies have access to medication. P&G is dedicated to the health progress of babies and their mothers and is investing in social programs which advance the lives of its Nigerian consumers.
For Pampers Mobile Clinic, the doctors and nurses had been given earlier training on the program before being deployed to the field, whereas assistants were engaged from some of the communities where they work as a way of empowering people in such communities, Obozuwa said.
Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) donated two units of hi-tech ultra-modern mobile clinics to two of Nigeria’s foremost health institutions, Abuja National Hospital and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital. The clinics will be operated in close partnership with the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare, local governments, local clinics, and NGOs. The Korea Foundation for International Healthcare will provide consultation and training on the operation of the mobile clinics to local personnel.
Rural healthcare has been neglected in communities across West African over the years. With the mobile health being institutionalized in West Africa, it is likely to be the major means of providing healthcare services to the rural inhabitants in the future.
Although there exist different approaches to addressing rural health care delivery, for instance, Nigeria has National Health Insurance Scheme that never worked. But, there is virtually no policy on a holistic review engaging the option of a mobile clinic as a means of providing healthcare delivery to rural communities. Thus, government, NGO, and donor agencies must begin to think mobile health as alternative policy for addressing rural health challenge. This is most fundamental as Mobile health initiative appears to be the best alternative to providing healthcare to the rural inhabitants.