To address the neighbouring communities’ poor access to basic health care services, a health project was designed with Missão Betesda (a Nampula based NGO), with the goal of increasing in the long-term the number of health care units in the vicinity of the Mine.
This includes improving referral systems, providing an integrated ambulance operation, establishing a group of community health care volunteers servicing the local communities, and arranging for the existing health care units to receive full and adequate day-to-day support to enable them to give the best health care possible, given their limited resources.
An agreement to implement the Community-Based Health Care Programme was signed by KMAD and Missão Betesda in February 2009. The development of this project was carried out in collaboration and participation with the District and Provincial Health Departments to ensure that when the project is concluded the activities will be fully managed by the District Health Department.
The project established the Mobile Clinic Team (“MCT”), consisting of a medical doctor and a dentist, who have visited the target area every fortnight. The MCT visits eight different clinics/health posts on each visit to the area. These fortnightly visits have proven to be a success and depending on the complexity of the cases, the MCT have been each able to see between ten and twenty patients during the visits. Through these visits, community has access to health services that were previously not available in the area such as ultrasounds, a dentist and more complicated cases are being referred to undergo furthers specialised treatment at Nampula hospital.
The MCT has been doing practical training of health personnel working in the existing clinics and health facilities. In Tupuito locality, 20 community health volunteers have received training in different health topics such as tuberculosis, cholera, HIV/AIDS, malaria, etc. The main duty of those volunteers is to fill the gap in terms of lack of information in the villages on health related issues. They serve as educators and information disseminators in the villages and do house to house visits, organise group discussions and meetings and take active roles in health campaigns promoted by the government (children vaccination, cholera outbreaks, etc).
In order to address the issue of logistics and transport, which is very problematic in rural areas, KMAD purchased an ambulance. KMAD is currently advancing plans to build a health facility in Tupuito that will be staffed with qualified health personnel.
Since mid 2009, all our focus and efforts have been around discussions and meetings with the district government and health authorities to get this project up and running.