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Monday, March 27, 2023

In Madagascar, free medical consultations provided in mobile clinics

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In Madagascar, mobile clinics crisscross the Analamanga region for a fortnight to provide free consultations. With galloping inflation, health is often relegated to the background for many Malagasy families.

With our correspondent in Antananarivo, Laetitia Bezain

In Madagascar, free medical consultations take place in the capital and its surroundings. Financial, geographical or even cultural barriers: access to care remains limited on the Big Island for many inhabitants.

It is in this context that a medical caravan made up of 17 mobile clinics has been crisscrossing the Analamanga region for a week and until March 8 to bring patients closer to medical structures.

If it’s very serious, we go to the doctor. Otherwise, we have other priorities »

Screenings for diabetes, cancer of the cervix, management of malnutrition or even consultations with general practitioners and specialists: on the lawn of the Malacam stadium, there are several hundred of them waiting in the queues. Dada Raly, a 74-year-old farmer, writes down his blood pressure in a notebook: “ This is the first time I have gone to the doctor to take my blood pressure. Because usually you have to spend money. It is these consultations, but the problem is above all the price of the drugs. »

With galloping inflation, health is often relegated to the background for many Malagasy families. Jocelyne, teacher, who suffers from hypertension and asthma; struggling to pay for his medication: Usually, if it’s very serious, then yes we go to the doctor. But otherwise, we have other priorities. I have to spend around 40,000 ariary per month [environ 8,70 euros, Ndlr] for my medication. Sometimes I don’t have enough money to buy them, and I don’t take them. »

It’s basic awareness. »

Nicole Rakotoarison is the director of the emergency medical aid center within the Ministry of Health, and coordinator of the site: ” We try to see people who are perhaps afraid of health services, those who don’t have the means, who are used to going elsewhere, even to traditional healers. We are not against it per se, but we are trying to advance scientifically as well. It is a basic awareness and I think the objective in itself has been achieved. »

More than 25,000 patients have been cared for in these mobile clinics.

► Read also Madagascar: strong psychological distress rages in the slums

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