Wednesday June 24 marked the beginning of activity for the “mobile clinic” of DREAM in Conakry. An equipped camper with the huge sign “DREAM – Communauté de Sant’Egidio” took off from the DREAM center located in the heart of the city, headed toward the neighborhood the farthest away, called “Kilometer 36”.
This is, in effect, about a neighborhood 36 km from the city center, where many people live, also the residence of many who are in the care of the clinic in the center. Conakry is a city built on a narrow peninsula, surrounded by the sea and a long stretch of mangroves, forcing, therefore, urban development to be something restricted to the interior, along the peninsula. The many who come to Conakry from the interior of the country cannot find anywhere else to live other than in places far from the areas in the center.
To move towards the center is always exhausting and ever more expensive. DREAM wanted to make its care more accessible and move its presence closer to the sick by going out to them in the periphery. All the services which one obtains at the DREAM center – the visit, the delivery of drugs, the laboratory evaluations, nutritional aids – were loaded onto the mobile unite to be brought towards this area of “Km 36”. There, the mobile unit will support a sort of “satellite center”, a clinic realized within a former warehouse purposely adapted for this.
A representative of this area advertised the event, activists informed patients, and thus about 50 people met at the appointed site. Many of them wanted to be tested, because they knew that everything was free and that, if they needed it, therapy would be available to them. Others, already patients of ours, came simply to celebrate this new opportunity for care close to home, the same quality care found in the city center, at the DREAM center.
Health authorities and representatives from the Ministry of Health celebrated with DREAM in occasion of this support of the population living so far from the capital. During this period of political transition, many are moving far from Guinea, while DREAM, on the contrary, wishes to witness to a renewed closeness to Guinea, its people, and its sick.
One last example of this commitment is the fact that at Conakry’s DREAM center, as of this week, the DBS test for early diagnosis of HIV infection in babies under a year old will be available. It involves taking just a few drops of blood on a particular type of paper, which then is sent to a molecular biology laboratory, even after several days’ conservation at room temperature. The test reveals with certainty if the child is healthy or has contracted the virus. Nothing more difficult than withdrawal from a neonatal …, once again DREAM settles for nothing less than the best for its patients!