Between the 1st and 4th November our CUAMM volunteers in Beira (Mozambique) were pleased to welcome visitors from Padua University’s Department of Women’s and Children’s Health and the University of Bergen in Norway, who had come to investigate and arrange possible collaboration in neonatal and paediatric research.
Accompanied by Doctor Damiano Pizzol, in charge of CUAMM research work at Beira, and Giulia Segafredo, a research worker at Padua, the delegation visited the Central Hospital, with particular interest in the Neonatology Department (berçario), two of the city’s 16 health centres, and the Faculty of Medicine of the Catholic University of Mozambique.
Our visitors were able to inspect two very different health centres at close hand. The first, Unidade de Saúde de Cerámica (Cerámica Health Centre), is a single structure with an open-air waiting room, three examination rooms, a small dispensary, a small waiting room for pregnant women, and a delivery room. It lies near rural land at the edge of Beira and provides outpatient, nursing and maternity services, catering for around 50 births each month and serving around 15,000 inhabitants.
Munhava, by contrast, is the site of one of the city’s five main units, which together serve 80% of the population. It provides four public facilities: first aid, a nutritional rehabilitation centre for children, plus maternity and outpatient clinics. The main building has a large central waiting room with and 20 outpatient rooms offering different treatments, where between one and two thousand examinations take place daily from 7 am to 3pm. Emergency first aid is provided 24 hours a day, and 300 babies are delivered each month.
Munhava caters particularly for children and adults with HIV/AIDS, offering them ongoing anti-retroviral therapy and various counselling services backed up by psycho-social support activities.
A dedicated maternity facility adjoins the main building. It contains a waiting room, a delivery room and a post-natal facility where mothers and newborns can rest and be kept under observation. Although a doctor is always available at this relatively large facility, complicated cases are transferred by ambulance to Beira Central Hospital.
This visit was an opportunity to widen the scope of current projects in Beira, those of a clinical nature and other community projects to raise young people’s awareness of matters relating to AIDS/HIV, early pregnancies and premature marriages. Beira’s two youth organisations are assisting us in this work, and one of them, “Healthy Generation”, was able to meet the delegation.