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Mobile Clinic Avoiding Fatalities By Aiding Villagers In Rural Malaysia

In terms of medical aid, being sheltered away from the city can be challenging and dangerous for communities that do not have easy access to it. What could one possibly do if they were in an emergency but did not have the means to hurry?

In the case of Ajil Urin, the village head of Kampung Lirung, Sabah, that is precisely the trepidation he has to face. Living in a remote district takes hours of transportation to reach the nearest clinic to receive medical care. The outcome for patients suffering from an unanticipated heart attack or a stroke is fatal as they cannot access the medical centres within a short amount of time. Having to traverse through rocky roads or shuffle through muddy paths slows down their speed and could quickly take a fatal turn [1]

Source: UMW

Last year, two people from neighbouring villages did not make it… They died from their illness as they were being transported. – Ajil Urin, the village head of Kampung Lirung in Sabah [1]

That puts anyone living far away from clinics and hospitals at a disadvantage. The million dollar question is: What can be done to resolve it? What needs to be in place so that medical assistance reaches every part of Malaysia?

Source: Today Online

Mobile Clinic To The Rescue

The communities in rural areas face the continuous struggle of travelling from their home to the central hubs to receive medical assistance. There are additional transportation fees to consider as well as the awaiting medical expenses. 

The lack of doctors is another issue persisting in the rural regions of Malaysia.

According to statistics, 98 out of 215 rural clinics do not have a doctor present and are managed solely by nurses and medical assistants[2]

A way to aid the villagers is by using mobile clinics. Mobile clinics are medical teams and devices travelling to different locations and providing medical care to communities. Dispatching them improves access to healthcare and helps patients not only save their money but also gives them the chance to be diagnosed. 

Compared to the urban residents that have 9.1% of diagnosed cases, rural regions fall shorter with 6.6%. The number of undiagnosed cases, however, is 25.35% for urban residents and 30.4% for rural residents, which again shows the disparity between the two [3]

Several groups are offering mobile clinics to the rural regions to provide them with medical assistance.

Mobile Clinics In Malaysia

#1: MyMedic @Wilayah

Started by the Federal Territories Ministry under the 5MY Programme, MyMedic@Wilayah introduced medical services free of charge for the residents living in poverty. 120 patients utilised the mobile clinic service only during the first week of its operation. The mobile clinic stationed in Kuala Lumpur operated from 9 am to 1 pm from 13 different locations and offered differing services to the patients. Their services include treating minor illnesses, follow-up on diseases, such as hypertension and free medical screening [4]

#2: Kedah Zakat Board

In collaboration with the Padang Terap District Health Department, the Kedah Zakat Board dispatched mobile clinics for the elderly and disabled people living in the state’s rural regions. The initiative is in place to increase the vaccination rate amongst the vulnerable.  The mobile clinic’s purpose is to assist the patients, providing them with beds and anything of assistance [5]

This mobile vaccination unit makes it possible for us to fulfil our wish to be vaccinated. – a villager in Kampung Perik, Kuala Nerang, Kedah [5]

Source: Zakat Kedah

#3: Teddy Mobile Clinic

Teddy Mobile Clinic, established in August 2015, is made out of a group of individuals with the desire to help and lessen the burden on the communities. Their objective is to provide free medical services for the less fortunate, consisting of the urban poor, people from the rural suburbs, and individuals who do not have the means to pay. They are located in Jalan Hang Lekiu and Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur. Teddy Mobile Clinic also visits families’ homes when the need arises [6]

#4: Lutheran Mobile Clinic

Likewise, Lutheran mobile clinic is an organisation giving free healthcare to the people inhabiting the remote region of Ipoh and Upper Perak areas. Their services cater to the Orang Asli communities’ elderly and orphanages. Since being founded in 2007, the mobile clinic has been committed to providing services to isolated regions. Further, the clinic extends its services to educating communities on personal hygiene and healthcare [7]

#5: IMAM Response & Relief Team (IMARET)

The organisation was established in 2014 and has since provided humanitarian aid relief when disasters strike at home and abroad. The forming members consist of young medical professionals determined to serve marginalised communities. At the home ground, Imaret’s role has been crucial in conducting outreach vaccination in the Orang Asli community [8].

Source: The Star

In the future, we plan to strengthen our current services, such as our charity clinic and mental health services. We also aim to increase the frequency of our outreach charity clinics, and continue to be prepared to respond to any calls for medical relief both locally and from neighbouring countries.  – Dr Ahmad Yusof Yahaya, Imaret chief coordinator [8]

Written by: Muna Mohamed, edited by Wiki Impact Team

Explore our sources:

  1. Today. (2017). Mobile clinic a blessing for villages in rural Malaysia. Link
  2. K. Batumalai.(2020). 57 Years Later, Do Sarawak, Sabah Enjoy Equal Health Care To Peninsula? Code Blue. Link
  3. D.J. Falcon.(2019). The Health Care Gap in Rural Malaysia. Lehigh University. Link
  4. S,Ravindran. (2021). Mobile clinic for PPR folk gets encouraging response. The Star. Link
  5. C.G. Tan.(2021). Mobile Clinic a boon for elderly and disabled villagers. The Star. Link
  6. Hati: Serving the community. (2019). Teddy Mobile Clinic. Link
  7. Love and Care Malaysia (n.d) Klinik Lutheran. Link
  8. T.Toh. (2022). This Malaysian NGO tirelessly provides health care to marginalised communities. The Star. Link

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