Due to the lack of medical facilities, the Xaverian Missionaries started a medical clinic in Madina to provide basic health care for the local population.
The clinic soon expanded to include mobile clinics for the surrounding villages. These clinics are essentially a 4×4 vehicle which is stocked with drugs and basic equipment. It travels to local villages on set days of the week. The clinic is run by local nurses and support staff. The drugs and all the running costs are funded by donations that are given to the Xaverian Mission.
Patients will walk for miles to attend these clinics. They pay a nominal amount for a registration card and any drugs that are prescribed.
Up to 100 patients are seen every day with problems such as malaria, typhoid and other infections, malnutrition, eye disorders, and an increasing number of long term conditions (eg. gastric ulcers, high blood pressure, epilepsy).
Problems that cannot be dealt with are referred to the neighbouring government hospitals, but many patients do not go because they cannot afford the transport costs.
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 can be a catastrophe for patients and their families as there are no stroke rehabilitation services in the country.
The mobile clinics are also an important location for detecting children who have malnourishment. Those who need intensive treatment are referred to the Madina Catholic Feeding Centre.