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By Jennifer Browning

After turning off of National Road #3, the SUVs tossed,  tumbled and slid across the mud caked roads saturated after the downpour the previous night.

Traveling to the mobile clinic location this morning, the lead SUV with all the medications was deterred by the mud. After about 30 minutes, the truck found its way out and Project Medishare staff determined an alternative location for today's clinic. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

The caravan halted just a few miles down. The lead truck with all of the medications was stuck.

“My primary concern was is there another route or how are we going to get to the clinic,” William Moore, a second year MPH student from Morehouse School of Medicine said. “We prepared so much this morning to leave earlier than before to assure that we could provide as much as we could for today’s clinic, when we saw this obstacle, I thought we weren’t going to be able to service as many people as we originally planned.”

With the road impassable, once the lead truck made its way out of the mud, Project Medishare staff worked out an alternative location which ended up being the property and house of a resident in the community. A messenger was sent down to the original clinic location to tell those waiting to be see,  that the location had changed. Patients walked 45 minutes to get to the alternative location.

“It just impresses upon me how people here make such personal sacrifice traveling in the heat, traveling in the mud, being able to walk carrying their kids long distances to get to the mobile clinic location,” Bande Mangaliso Virgil, a pediatric resident from Morehouse Medical School said. “It says how much faith they have in us as physicians and that is humbling. They walk one, two hours or maybe even a half a day to receive healthcare.”

Erica Shantha, second year medical student at Morehouse School of Medicine, agreed.

“I thought it was great. A local allowed us to improvise and basically take over their home and land to do today’s clinic,” Erica said. “I thought it was amazing how the people could

Erica Shantha, a second year medical student at Morehouse School of Medicine takes a patient's blood pressure at the triage unit at the mobile clinic. "Everyone worked to gether today as a team. We saw the most patients, and it was all set up and organized. It was the most productive day we've had all week in spite of the change in clinic location." Photo by Jennifer Browning.

come there so fast. It seemed to take them 15 minutes to get word that the clinic had moved.”

Normally for the mobile clinics, Project Medishare operates out of a local school house or a church. This provides separate rooms for the various specialties. Today, the whole clinic operated under a sprawling Mango tree and the Obstetrics and Gynecology clinic operated in the back of an SUV to offer some sort of privacy.

“You do what you have to do to get the job done, and that was the only private secure place we had to see our women, so we made it work,” Dr. Tish Titus, assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine. “The women were so happy to come lay in the truck and listen to the sound of their babies on the portable doppler.”

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