In Cairo, a medical clinic on wheels is currently on duty and every day. The mobile clinic travels around Cairo to help people with their health issues.
If it was not for the major Egyptian Red Crescent logo on the side, it would look like a regular tourist bus. However, this vehicle could not be any further from that. Take a closer look, and you will find a fully equipped medical clinic inside with two rooms for consultations and a small pharmacy ready to hand out medicine. The medical clinic on wheels travels every day to areas in and around Cairo to see patients with health issues.
„Better than a normal clinic“
„It is even better than a normal clinic“, says doctor Mohammad Hassanin.“I am working in this for two months now. I am very happy with the experience, it is the first time working in a mobile clinic. It is good because it is mobile and goes to the patients wherever they are.”
We followed the vehicle for one day from the morning to the evening. During the day, people from the surrounding area were queuing up outside of the vehicle to be registered for a visit. Most of the visitors for the day were Syrian refugees and vulnerable Egyptians.
Very good medical service
One of them was Safah Hawari from Syria and her four-year-old daughter Sham. “She was coughing, she had the fever, her ears hurt, she was tired“, Safah explains. She came from Damascus to Egypt eight years ago, and she and her family are happy to find good and free medical service. „It was very easy to go here to the medicine clinic. We had the lab test, and we were happy about it”, she says.
Another patient today was also from Syria. Hanadi Abdelhamid Omareen came to Egypt from the Syrian city of Homs just 1.5 month ago with her family. “Today, I came to the Red Crescent clinic, because my son is sick. He had high temperature and a sore throat“, Hanadi explains when entering the clinic. ”It is my first time visiting this place, but I heard that the Red Crescent gives very good medical service“, she says. “I saw the doctor, and he was very good and caring, and thank you very much”.
Mobile clinic in Cairo: colds, flu and breathing difficulties
Doctor Mohammad Hassanin tells us that a lot of the patients coming here suffer from common colds, which is easy to treat. “We see a lot of infants especially after being born for the first 14 days, they have colds, influenza, sometimes problems with the chest. Nothing really serious to the extent that they need to be redirected to hospitals”.
„My reward is to see the smiles on the beneficiaries’ faces“
Volunteer for the Egyptian Red Crescent, Ossama Mohammed stands outside of the bus and helps out with practical things today. He usually studies law at university, but he is also working for free when the medical bus is out rolling. “I help in the mobile clinic in order to help the vulnerable. My reward is to see the smiles on the beneficiaries’ faces.” He believes that the work makes a difference: “If we don’t help each other, who will help us?”
Background: MADAD – an alliance to assist refugees
This aid is part of the MADAD Programme lead by the the Red Cross. Almost 6 million people from Syria live in neighboring countries. In partnership with 13 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies als well as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the German Red Cross supports more than one million Syrian refugees, internally displaced persons and those in need in the local communities of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, in Jordan and Egypt. The project, known as the MADAD Programme, is funded by the European Union and will run over a period of four years (2016-2020).
Photos: Rikke Østergård/Dänisches Rotes Kreuz