Under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) has launched two mobile clinics under the joint project “Providing primary health care services to migrants and Egyptians in Greater Cairo”.
The project was set up in collaboration with the Swiss Embassy in Egypt, and will provide two fully equipped mobile clinics with labs, a paediatric and a women’s clinic, as well as a general clinic.
The mobile clinics will be deployed in areas of Greater Cairo that are home to a high concentration of migrants and vulnerable Egyptian communities with little access to primary health care.
A third mobile clinic has been donated by the ERC and added to the fleet, with its operational costs covered by the Embassy of Switzerland until the end of 2021.
The launch event was attended by Minister of Social Solidarity and Deputy Chairperson of the ERC Council Nevine El-Kabbaj, and the Swiss Ambassador to Egypt Paul Garnier. Also in attendance was Valerie Liechti, Head of the Office of International Cooperation at the Swiss Embassy.
The three vehicles will provide medical care services covering paediatrics, gynaecology, general medicine, dermatology, and orthopaedics. Two pharmacies are on hand to provide the necessary medication, in addition to a lab that will provide tests, such as for kidney and liver function, comprehensive diabetes analysis, as well as blood, pregnancy and other necessary analyses.
From the beginning of February, the mobile clinics will cover several areas in Cairo, including Al-Tabbah, the 10th District, Kilo 4.5, Arab Maadi, Faisal, Al-Haram, Al-Obour, and Ain Shams.
Switzerland has long supported health and protection services in Egypt throughout its various projects. The joint project with the ERC has been on-going since 2018, and is expected to continue during 2021, to ensure that primary health care services are available across Greater Cairo where it is most needed.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt has contributed CHF 1.6m to alleviate the negative economic and medical consequences of the pandemic. This aid has targeted both migrant and Egyptian communities.
This project in partnership with ERC is one example of such an intervention with direct medical assistance and awareness raising, including COVID-19 prevention and protection.
Ambassador Paul Garnier said, “We are confident that the availability of primary health care services through the clinics will impact migrants and vulnerable Egyptians’ lives in a positive way, providing crucial support in a difficult time and opening new horizons for integrated health solutions.”
The launch of the mobile clinics is considered a milestone in a more elaborate process that has extended for more than two years of health care services and activities directed at the most vulnerable communities.
After receiving various services, many beneficiaries volunteered with the ERC and became contributors to the provision of such services to their peers.
Dr Ramy El Nazer, CEO of the ERC, said, “This project launch could not have come at a better time, where the country is in desperate need for medical support, especially for our migrants, refugees, and hosting communities.”
The launch of the clinics is part of a broader spectrum of cooperation, in which the ERC and the Swiss Embassy have established integral collaboration on several fronts. These activities include raising awareness in disease prevention and through first aid workshops, providing health care services, and psychosocial activities for targeted beneficiaries.