Due to the lack of medical facilities, clinics were established in Madina in 2010. These clinics provide basic health care for the local population and surrounding villages. In addition to the clinics held in Madina, several times a week the medical clinics are held in remote villages. These are what we call “the mobile clinics”. HelpMadina has a 4×4 vehicle which is stocked with drugs and basic equipment. All of the clinics are run by the HelpMadina team. The drugs and all the running costs are funded by the Holy Spirit Hospital.
Patients will often walk miles to attend the clinics. They pay a nominal amount for a registration card and any drugs that are prescribed. Up to 100 patients may be seen every day with problems such as malaria, gastrointestinal infections (typhoid and cholera) and respiratory infections. Untreated, these conditions can fatal particularly in young children. Long-term conditions such as gastric ulcers, high blood pressure, epilepsy are also common. Tuberculosis remains a significant problem in this part of the world.
Much work has been done with the nurses and support staff to improve the running of the clinics. There has also been help with nurse training. For example, the nurses are now able to screen all patients who attend, over the age of 40, for high blood pressure. This is important because high blood pressure leads to strokes – and having a stroke in Sierra Leone is a catastrophe for patients and their families as there are no stroke rehabilitation services in the country.
Importantly, all children attending the clinics are screened for malnutrition. Those who require intensive treatment are referred to the Madina Catholic Feeding Centre.