Health services in rural areas

In rural areas, the populations are many kilometers away from the health services and have no transport to access them.

It is common for the population to walk several hours, several kilometers, to reach a Health Centre. The health centres managed by ESMABAMA and the support of health activists, who travel to remote areas, have brought new hope to the people of the districts of Búzi and Chibabava.

In rural areas, there are very few health centres or health posts. The Health Centres in Barada, Estaquinha and Mangunde have improved the health services in rural areas and contributed towards better quality health in these development centres and the surrounding rural communities. The focus is on quality service, so it is common for people from distant and remote communities to go to these Health Centres, even if there are other posts or health centres closer by. The health services are managed jointly by ESMABAMA and the Mozambican state, which pays the salaries of almost 90% of the health workers and supplies basic medicines.

ESMABAMA ensures the functioning of the health centres with auxiliary staff and cleaning materials. It is with the support of our partners, mainly Caritas Germany, that we ensure a high standard of quality in the medicines and equipment used in laboratory and rural maternity care; as well as food assistance, especially for chronically malnourished patients and their children.

The main services provided are consultations; laboratory tests; vaccination; prenatal care; maternity; hospitalization for treatments such as tuberculosis; transport of patients to other health units of reference; home care and referral to health centres; psychosocial support and monitoring of chronic diseases such as HIV / AIDS through the DREAM program, implemented by the Community of Sant’Egidio, with specialized doctors and nurses.

The increase in the network of access to water, sanitation and hygiene are also constant concerns for the improvement of the living conditions and health of these rural communities. Over the years, cases of acute diarrhea have decreased with improved access to water sanitation and hygiene and health awareness in rural areas by activists. However, climate change and water as an increasingly scarce resource increasingly put this progress at risk.

health services in rural areas
health centre
health centre laboratory

Health activists - health awareness in rural areas

Our health services in rural areas and health centres work does not end in Barada, Estaquinha and Mangunde, very important work is carried out in the surrounding rural communities, often where cars cannot reach, with health activists. Health activists monitor chronically ill patients and raise awareness among the population about different health issues such as malaria, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, monitoring patients – always in coordination with the health centres. The work of health activists ensures a residual number of dropouts in HIV antiretroviral treatment, a success at national level. The health awareness in rural areas they carry out is also fundamental to combat myths and traditional beliefs about the diseases.

Maternal waiting home and rural maternity care

3 Maternities

In addition to the Health Centres, there are also maternity services and maternal waiting home (3). In order to avoid births in the community that endanger the lives of mothers and babies, work is done together with activists so that traditional midwives refer deliveries to the health centres.

Maternal waiting homes

There is a lack of transportation to healthcare in rural areas, many pregnant women walk several kilometers to reach maternity care in rural areas run by ESMABAMA. They may stay at a maternal waiting home to await delivery, in order to avoid having an unsafe delivery at home, far from any health centre. The stay of these women in a maternal waiting home can vary from a few days to months.

HIV in rural areas - health services in rural areas

The follow-up of chronically ill HIV/AIDS patients is done through the computer programme “DREAM”, in partnership with the Community of Sant’Egidio, which makes it possible to have a high adherence to ARV (antiretroviral treatment). The bridge between the activists and the Health Centres is fundamental for a high rate of adherence to the taking of these antiretroviral drugs HIV.