This is a mobile clinic, providing diagnosis and treatments
During a recent trip with the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, we traveled to pregnancy monitoring clinics hosted at rural schools in Karnataka, India. We were shocked to hear that 40% of the time pregnant women are told to leave without proper care. The reason was electricity cuts. Technicians couldn’t run the electric centrifuge that their diagnostic tests needed to function. This meant that they were then incapable of monitoring for diseases such as anemia, gestational diabetes, and testing for sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and syphilis, thereby placing these pregnant women and their infants at increased risk. Decreasing the trust of these women, they often walked long distances and sacrificed time that could be spent caring for families or making money. With the simple presence of a centrifuge that could run without electricity, the planned diagnostic tests could be completed even when the electricity was out.
While traveling on a mobile clinic in 2012 in the areas around Sargur, India, we met a man named Hemanth* who the doctors in the mobile clinic suspected of having typhoid fever. The mobile clinic was essentially a van filled with medicines, one village outreach woman, two technicians, and a doctor. Their diagnostic capability of the mobile clinic was limited to what it’s occupants could visually inspect and a stethoscope. They drew a blood sample from Hemanth in order to run the tests at the main clinic once the van returned to the main laboratory. Unfortunately, Hemanth didn’t own a cell phone or means of contact to inform him of the test’s result. One of the technicians then knocked on Hemanth’s neighbor’s door and was able to take Hemanth’s neighbor’s phone number who would receive the phone call with the test results and then inform Hemanth of the results to let him know whether or not he needed to come into the hospital for treatment. This inefficient process endangers not only Hemanth’s life, but the lives of his family and community as the disease continues to spread
*for identity rights reasons, this is not the true name of this man