The Mobile Unit Program for dental and dermatological care started in June 2001, initially financed by World Bank and later by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Round 2. The program was concluded on December 31st, 2007.
Partner of Romanian Angel Appeal in implementing the program for dental and dermatological care through the Mobile Unit was the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Prof. Dr. Matei Bals”.
Launched in 2000, the Mobile Unit project is one of RAA’s initiatives to meet the needs of its beneficiaries by providing medical, dermatological and dental care services to the HIV/AIDS patients.
This program addressed especially people living with HIV/AIDS and who had been discriminated in the public medical system or who live in remote areas, with difficult access to specialized medical care.
At the same time, the program was an opportunity to inform and train medical staff on HIV prevention in the medical system by applying, in all cases, universal precautions.
One of the key elements of success for the Mobile Unit program was setting up a network of 60 professionals, dermatologists and dentists, who provided, through the Mobile Unit, free medical services to HIV positive people.
The professionals were selected in each location of the Mobile Unit project implementation, from the local medical network. Some of them continued to provide medical services to HIV positive people in their private clinics, after the Mobile Unit had left.
The medical services ensured through the Mobile Unit targeted, first and foremost, the people living with HIV/AIDS and who required specialized medical care, dermatological and dental, who lived in one of the 26 locations where the Mobile Unit carried out its activities along with the general population from those locations.
The successful implementation of the Mobile Unit program was supported by the “Sunflower-Smile” Day Clinics Network, the county or municipal hospitals, pediatric units, infectious diseases hospitals as well as by the county health authorities.
In addition, the Mobile Unit program offered the professionals involved the opportunity to provide high quality medical care by using modern materials and equipment. They were also trained in applying preventive measures that reduce the risk of professional exposure to HIV/AIDS.
Through the Mobile Unit, over 1.100 HIV positive patients benefited from high quality medical care. Over 2.300 dental and dermatological interventions were performed in the Mobile Unit.
The Mobile Unit program also provided training for more than 80 medical professionals, health education and information sessions for the young beneficiaries but also for the general population concerning oral hygiene, STD prevention and other up-to-date information.
From many points of view, the Mobile Unit was both hospital and school. A place where HIV positive patients were treated with respect and dignity, without discrimination and with unlimited access to the best medical care. It was a place where they could ask questions and get answers about the evolution of their disease and where they were given an extra chance to health and a dignified life. It was a step towards the normality that we all want.
At the same time, the Mobile Unit represented a school where medical specialists were able to complete their professional training, to familiarize with innovative intervention techniques and equipment, to gain special practical abilities from the constant and professional support from Romanian Angel Appeal.
Some of the testimonials of the young beneficiaries of the free services provided by the Mobile Unit are presented below:
“As long as it’s about my health ad it can be solved with your help, it’s fine from all points of view. Thank you for being here!” – Alice, 16, Iasi;
“The way you talk and encourage patients is very good…” – Radu, 17, Piatra Neamt
“I like the way the Mobile Unit is equipped, the way the staff behave, how they work” – Silvia, 18, Timisoara
“The scoring I gave is maximal as the young ladies that took care of me every year were very sympathetic and understanding, helped me get over my fear.” – Ilie, 17, Braila
One dentist stated that:
“After such a long time of working together, I couldn’t find any negative side in regard to the RAA staff professionalism and the collaboration between RAA and the professionals in Timisoara. The notes written on the scoring card are not complaisant, as this does not characterize me, but the result of these all years of working together.” – Dr. Dan Dragomirescu, Timisoara.