Camp offers free medical services to isolated poor

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Camp offers free medical services to isolated poor

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:18 am

Camp offers free medical services to isolated poor

Dentists treated problem teeth.Many of Yemen’s poorest people live far away from urban centers, and thus far from any hospital or clinic. So, to reach these isolated people, the Medical Insurance Unit of the Republican Guards has brought the clinic to the people. It set up a medical camp at the al-Shaheed al-Hindwana’ school in the al-Saba’een district in the Sawad Heziz region in Sana’a, where local people can go to get free medical care.

The camp is supervised by the Medical Insurance Unit of the Republican Guards. This camp, the fifth such traveling clinic organized by the Republican Guards, opened on March 24, and was originally scheduled to stay open until March 29. But the enormous numbers of people seeking medical care has persuaded the camp managers to keep it open until April 5. Four such camps were held in the last year, in accordance with the plan approved by Commander of the Republican Guards and Commander of the Special Forces, Colonel Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The first camp was held in al-Wehda quarter in the al-Saba’een district in the Sawad Heziz region in March 2006. The present camp is a launch for three others that will be carried out through this year. The next one will be held in the al-Sonaina’ region of Sana’a. “In this camp, we’re trying to correct the mistakes that were made at the previous medical camps, and arranging everything in a better way than what was done previously. For the first time, we’ve brought various specialists that were not available in the previous camps.

Today, we’ve added two complete mobile carriages for x-ray examinations and dentistry,” said Dr. Abdul-Hakim al-Rae’i, the president of this camp. “Any patient who needs surgery to recover his health, or complains about some health problems, he or she can be treated in the camp. The emergency cases can also be transported to the camp to be saved,” said Nabil al-Siaghi, a media spokesperson for the camp. On the first day, the camp received about 1,320 patients. In the next two days, the number increased to about 2,230 people.

People wait for medical attention outside the various medical units. More women and children than men are coming to this camp, which includes some 26 separate medical units. Some 100 people are working at the camp, including doctors and teams of assistants. There are about 33 doctors and more than 40 nurses. For the first time, there were a number of policewomen to help keep order in the lines of waiting women. The doctors were brought from the Medical Insurance Unit of the Republican Guards and from the Kuwait University Hospital. The camp also includes a complete laboratory. The patients can have ultrasound and cardiograph examinations.

“All medicines, whether cheap or expensive, are available and given to people for free. Sometimes, medicines are not available rare cases, but we try to get them in by the next day. We buy these medicines at the expense of Saleh. He is the only one who supports us in a meaningful way to offer such human services for these people,” said Sami al-Maqhafi, a pharmacist and the vice-president of the camp. “About 1,700 prescriptions are given to patients daily. We’re now recording the chronic cases, trying to support them with the necessary medicines through the whole year after this camp is finished.”

“We get a free card to enter the clinic that we want,” said Somia’ Mohammed, 22-years old, and pregnant with her first child. “This is the second time that I’ve come to the camp. The first time I came to get the diagnosis for my case, and this time to get an x-ray examination. There are a lot people who are not from this region, they heard that there was a medical camp in this region and they came from other different regions and villages such as Amad.” “We also coordinated with the Kuwait hospital to receive the cases that need surgery and any difficult cases that need extra medical care,” said al-Rae’i.

“There are also ambulances that are provided with all necessary equipments.” Moreover, doctors in this camp keep track the chronic cases, such as diabetes, heart diseases and high blood pressure and give them special medical examinations, and even provide them with doctors who can follow their cases later at the Kuwait hospital. “We thank everyone who has helped us to make this camp a successful. We also thank the Yemen Observer for visiting us and transporting the reality of this camp to the readers,” al-Rae’i said.

The Yemen Observer visited this medical camp on March 29, to find a large number of people waiting in rows outside the medical units. The area surrounding the school is very simple and poor. The passer-by feels that she is walking in a village, not in a district of Sana’a governorate. The camp includes two emergency units; one is allocated for women and kids, and the other is for men. These units contain necessary equipment, such as the disinfectants, gauze and cotton. “Many people resort to this unit, especially old men, who often come to measure their blood pressure,” said Dr. Ibrahim Oudah, a doctor in the emergency unit for men.

Laboratory technicians look for pathogens in samples taken from hundreds of patients.Some people come with emergency cases such as wounds and burns; they receive first aid and the necessary medical care. Other people come to get feeding tubes or to have injections. In the past two days, we received about 27 patients.” There are four units for internal diseases; two for women and two for men. “We receive from 200 to 220 cases daily in this unit only,” said Dr. Aziz al-Quhevi, an internist in the internal diseases unit allocated for men.

“The number of cases daily received in each one of the four units amounts to about 300 cases.” “This is a excellent and charitable deed for this sector of society. Every doctor here is very comfortable seeing free medicines given directly into those poor patients’ hands,” said Dr. Fadl al-Faqih, an otolaryngologist in the otolaryngology unit allocated for men. The cases that need surgery are sent to the Kuwait hospital for free and special care.

“Because the Kuwait hospital is a governmental one, and it gives free services, patients are usually compelled to wait for two or three months to reach the surgery room and a bed to sleep on through the period that he will stay in the hospital,” said Dr. al-Faqih. According to Dr. al-Faqih, the patients sent by doctors in this camp to the hospital are not compelled to wait. They immediately receive the necessary medical care and undergo the surgeries that they need to recover without waiting. There are two otolaryngology units, one for men and one for women. Every unit daily receives about 120 to 125 cases.

The camp is scheduled to close at 1 p.m., but doctors never leave their places before examining all patients waiting outside the units. Sometimes, they stay until 2 p.m. or later. “I ask God to grant success to us, so that we can serve those people and give them the medicines and medical care that they need,” said Dr. al-Faqih. “The camp is very excellent, in that what we need is available,” said Mahmoud Homadi, 45. “I ask God to reward the president and his son (Colonel Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh) for such great and charitable work for the poor people in these regions.

A man receives much-needed treatment.I suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure, but I get free medicines.” The most common eye disease afflicting people in this area is cataracts. This disease is the main cause of blindness for patients. Patients suffering from cataracts are sent to the hospital to undergo the necessary surgeries for free. “So far, we have seen three congenital cases of cataracts, glaucoma and blockage of the tear ducts. More than 100 cases were sent to the hospital to undergo the necessary surgeries,” said Dr. Adnan Thabit, an ophthalmologist in the men’s ophthalmology unit.

“Every day, we receive about 130 to 140 patients. We daily received about 60 cases complaining about cataracts. More than 40 percent of the cases we received complained about allergies that affected their eyes.” Some people suffer from farsightedness, nearsightedness or the line of sight deviation; such people are advised to try different kinds of eyeglasses to fix their sight. “This camp is arranged in a better way than the previous ones of 2006.

We hope to make such camps in different periods because people in these places need these services, but their situations do not allow them to go to the hospitals in the different governorates,” said Dr. Ryadh al-Maqtari, a dermatologist in the dermatology unit for men. More than 130 cases had been daily received by this unit. “I never find such excellent treatment in the governmental and private hospitals in the governorate, whether during medical examinations or in receiving the medications,” said Ali Qata’, 27.

“This is the second time I’ve come to this camp. The first time, I came to the urinary tract unit, and today I come for the internal diseases unit. I am just waiting now to talk to the doctor to find out how to use these medicines.” According to Dr. Mo’mer al-Fahed, a neurologist and psychiatrist, 40 to 60 patients daily were received in his unit. Nerve inflammations, melancholy, anxiety and tension headache cases were the most common cases received.

Another psychiatrist, Dr. Belqis al-Shami, said that two psychiatric units are needed to receive the large number of women. Each unit receives about 100 cases a day. Children suffering from diarrhea, dehydration, pneumonitis are sent to the hospital, according to pediatrician Belqis al-Ward, Some 100 to 150 kids were received every day. “In this unit, I am responsible for guiding women in family planning, using some suitable medical tools,” said Altaf al-Kibsi, a midwife. “I am also responsible for giving children vaccinations.

Long rows of women wait to receive medicines from the pharmacy. Every day, I receive about 15 to 20 women who want information on family planning.” One of the most common problems doctors see is the increase in blood pressure during pregnancy. “I hope the Ministry of Public Health and Population will educate these women via lectures, to teach them to pay attention to their health through the pregnancy months,” she said. Wafa Saleh, 20, the mother of one child and pregnant with her second, said, “I come here, especially to this clinic, to be sure that me and my fetus are in good condition.

They kindly treat us and listen to our complaints with enormous patience.” According to Dr. Mohammed al-Su’edi, the head of operations in the medical camp, about 7,000 persons were received in the first camp, held in 2006. Half of this number was women. The second camp was held in the al-Masajed region in Bani-Matar district at the end of June and the beginning of July. This camp received less than the number of people received in the first camp, because the area was not as crowded as the previous one. So, about 5,700 persons were received in the second camp.

The third camp, held in Mathbah region, received about 10,000 patients. The fourth camp was held in al-Sonaina’ in September 2006, and 10,000 more people were treated there. There was also another camp held in S’wan region in May, where 9,000 cases were received. “We conduct all the medical examinations for liver, kidney, and heart diseases, and malaria and typhoid in this complete laboratory. Every day we receive about 100 to 150 cases,” said Ibrahim al-Mas’odi, a laboratory specialist. The x-ray department receives about 20 to 25 patients every day. “We do x-ray exams for the heart, the glands, the eyes and other things,” said Dr. Marwan Saif, an x-ray specialist.

Men also wait to receive free medicines. “All of us thank the doctors, and the policewomen and policemen for their efforts in service of this camp. The most important thing is that the medicines are available and are free. We do not pay anything to get the medical examinations and medicines,” said Tahani, 33. “If there were not such camp, we would be compelled to go to the governorate hospitals, which are very far from our region,” said Fatima al-Hareth, 25. “To go to such hospitals, you are compelled to pay a lot.

Also, in the governmental hospitals, you are compelled to wait for weeks to get the necessary services that you want. In the private hospitals, you may not wait for a long time, but you must pay a lot of money for few services.” Abdul-Elah al-Hakim, 33, said, “I do not want to say anything except thank you so much to the president and his son.

The services that we receive in this camp are better than what we receive in other hospitals, whether governmental or private. The first time, I brought my children, and today I bring my brother’s children to the different clinics in the camp, because every one of them complains about a different medical problem.”


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