Published on 04/07/2022

The mobile clinic: an ENDA Santé strategy for access to health services for vulnerable populations

Monday, 04 July 2022- ENDA Santé, through its mobile strategy, organises free consultations in several regions of Senegal. These clinics are held regularly and offer screening services for cervical cancer, HIV, and consultations for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The opportunity is also taken to inform, advise and guide men, women, adolescents and young girls on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension or diabetes.

The mobile strategy is a flagship intervention that ENDA Santé has implemented to be closer to the population, especially the most vulnerable. The mobile clinics are equipped with the necessary equipment, medical staff and essential medicines. They provide reliable access to primary health care services for people living in areas that are underserved or far from health facilities. It also saves time and transport costs for beneficiaries by bringing primary health care to their communities.

In Dakar, Mbour and Ziguinchor, as part of the FEVE IMPULSE programme, mobile clinics support the programme's activities. They mainly target men, women, vulnerable adolescents and young people who benefit from quality services free of charge. The latter appreciate the initiative and call on the NGO to continue and expand the activities in other hard-to-reach areas.

The means to pay for health services are not always within our reach. Thanks to ENDA Santé, we get a consultation and medicines free of charge. I have been missing pink October for two years. Today I was able to have a cervical screening. I am reassured.

Like this middle-aged woman, these people come in large numbers to benefit from the clinic's services and leave satisfied with free medicines. They are informed, advised or, if necessary, referred to health facilities. In three months of activities (April-May-June), on behalf of FEVE IMPULSE, 52 clinic visits were carried out and more than 500 people were reached by these consultations, notably in Dakar, its suburbs and Mbour.

In Saint-Louis, more than 500 people were consulted in two days

The mobile strategy also reinforces the actions of the organisation's programmes and projects at EU level and enables them to improve indicators at local level.

 In Saint-Louis, the mobile clinic carries out advanced vaccination strategies in partnership with the health posts of the Langue de Barbarie and Gandiol. In this way, it contributes to the improvement of indicators, particularly for the vaccination of children aged between 0 and 59 months in areas where mothers have financial difficulties or lack the time to go and have their children vaccinated.

In addition to vaccination, the mobile clinic serves as a place for free consultations. Sessions are organised by ENDA Santé Saint-Louis as part of the SantéCom project, in partnership with the UFR Santé of the Université Gaston Berger and the Saint-Louis Health District. The most recent ones were organised in Gandiol, more precisely in Tassinère and Moumbaye. They had a satisfactory result with 542 people consulted in 2 days.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the mobile strategy was used to support the national vaccination programme. In collaboration with the North District of Dakar, nearly 2,000 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 in less than 10 days.

It should also be noted that the mobile strategy makes the community approach a reality insofar as it involves community actors such as the Bajenu Gox (neighbourhood godmothers), leaders of community associations, peer educators and youth leaders who are involved in organising and mobilising peers for the free consultation sessions. In addition, it involves health care providers (nurses, midwives, doctors and specialists) from the districts concerned who work in partnership with the NGO ENDA Santé.

This collaboration enhances the value of the actors and strengthens their community involvement in the service of community health. But it also brings health care providers closer to the population.