Updated Jun 29, 2020

GAIA Mobile Health Clinics

https://www.thegaia.org/

Lindsay Bouchelle

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GAIA's mobile clinics provide access to critical healthcare at the far end of the road in rural Southern Africa and build the capacity of the local healthcare systems. To date, we've conducted over 2 million clinic visits.

In partnership with the Malawi MOH, GAIA operates a network of Mobile Health Clinics (MHCs) in 2 of Malawi’s poorest and most remote districts. Community members, local leaders and district health professionals support MHC operations to improve community health outcomes and build sustainable healthcare capacity. Each MHC is staffed by a clinical officer, registered nurse, nurse’s aide, HIV ...
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In partnership with the Malawi MOH, GAIA operates a network of Mobile Health Clinics (MHCs) in 2 of Malawi’s poorest and most remote districts. Community members, local leaders and district health professionals support MHC operations to improve community health outcomes and build sustainable healthcare capacity. Each MHC is staffed by a clinical officer, registered nurse, nurse’s aide, HIV diagnostic assistant, and driver trained to triage clients and take vitals. MHCs rotate between pre-determined sites based on current healthcare gaps, enable the district health office to more effectively coordinate, deliver services, and make referrals to fixed facilities as needed. Clinic sites are able to quickly shift when current healthcare needs change, or when crises like COVID-19 emerge. Mobile clinics provide preventative care, as well as screening, testing and/or treatment for chronic, acute and potentially life-threatening conditions, including infectious diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and COVID-19. To respond to the emerging crisis in Malawi, GAIA's COVID-19 Campaign and Emergency Response team will: 1. Protect Mobile Health Clinic operations, adding additional staff, protocols, and vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); 2. Educate rural communities on hygiene, social distancing and other pandemic prevention messaging; 3. Deliver essential COVID-19 prevention supplies, including masks, buckets for water and soap for households in the highest risk areas.
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Prevention
  
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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

GAIA Mobile Clinics provide care for 1.1 million Malawians living in two Districts across southern Malawi. The program leverages partnerships with District Health Offices to provide care where and when it is most needed.

Focus Areas:

HIV/AIDS, Health Systems, Primary Care and 5 MoreSEE ALL

HIV/AIDS, Health Systems, Primary Care, Infectious & Vector Diseases, Prevention & Vaccination, Youth Friendly Services, Maternal Newborn and Child Health and Sexual and Reproductive HealthSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Malawi

MalawiSEE LESS

1
Country Implemented In
1,100,000
Customers
65
Employees
$93,500
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

Across Sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of people live in rural areas and often endure up to a day-long walk to the nearest health facility. In Malawi this is true for 84% of the country’s residents. Lack of access to healthcare puts millions of lives at risk, especially the rural poor who suffer from high-prevalence of preventable and treatable diseases and who are more vulnerable to climate and health shocks like flooding and COVID-19.

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Solution

GAIA's cost-effective, community-based approach to rural healthcare combines mobile clinics and community health workers to bring basic healthcare services to where they are urgently needed. In close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, GAIA’s mobile programs efficiently and effectively fill gaps in the healthcare grid, reducing disease among hard-to-reach, rural populations, and providing preventative education and services.

Target Beneficiaries

In Malawi, poverty remains widespread with over half of the population living below the poverty line. In the rural south where GAIA works, the vast majority are subsistence farmers. Literacy rates are significantly lower than in urban areas and only 3.5% of girls complete secondary school. Most of our mobile clinic clients are female (68%) and children (26%). Residents have inadequate health infrastructure and high rates of HIV infection, with young women at highest risk of new HIV infection.

Mission and Vision

Together with the communities we serve, GAIA develops innovative and caring healthcare programs in resource-deprived regions in Africa, especially those most affected by pandemics like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. To ensure the broadest possible impact, we rigorously test our initiatives and promote the replication of successful models.

Competitive Advantage

Mobile health clinics are the first line of defense in rural communities with limited access to fixed infrastructure. The MHCs also serve a critical triage role, linking villagers with acute needs to the government’s fixed hospitals and serving as an ambulance in urgent situations. All of these functions are urgently needed in the fight against COVID-19. Flexibility and smart response are a hallmark of the MHCs: they adapt to changing conditions (adding staff during the rainy season to address higher malaria caseload); services adapt based on need (shifting focus to chronic conditions on the rise) or government service capacity (we stopped providing vaccinations once the government started) and to emergencies (we mobilized MHCs to serve displacement camps during Malawi’s 2019 flooding). These mobile clinics are such an invaluable component of the Malawi health system that the government co-funds GAIA’s efforts, despite facing significant resource constraints.

Planned Goals and Milestones

GAIA will redeploy mobile clinics, clinicians and community health workers to support the MOH in preventing/mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Response team will be deployed to identified hot spots to provide prevention and transmission reduction education (physical distancing, hand washing and hygiene). Additional staff will help distance clients, promote hygiene/sanitation, triage/separate those with symptoms, and visit surrounding communities for sensitization/contact tracing.
Funding Goal500,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted275,000
New Implemented CountriesMalawi
Recruit20 clinical staff and community health workers
New FeatureDeploy an expanded mobile clinic COVID-19 Response Team

The Team Behind the Innovation

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

May 2020
Recognition ReceivedVERIFIED
Jan 2001
New Country Implemented In
Malawi