Remote mobile health service utilization post 2005 Kashmir-Pakistan earthquake.
Chan EYY., Kim JJ.
AIMS: Limited published studies have examined patient characteristics and disease patterns served by mobile clinics in remote areas post natural disaster. By comparing users of a remote mountainous stationary clinic and a mobile helicopter outreach clinic in Neelam Valley, 4 months post Pakistan-Kashmir earthquake, this study aims to: (i) compare the demographic and disease profile of health service users, (ii) examine how acute and chronic disease patterns vary with clinical settings, and (iii) discuss the potential implications to mobile emergency clinical service planning acute phase of natural disaster in remote areas. METHODS: Cross-sectional, retrospective record-based study in two remote clinical settings in Neelam Valley, Kashmir-Pakistan. Patients who presented to clinics from 21 January to 20 February, and whose diagnoses were available, were included in the study. Descriptive statistics and chi significance tests were conducted. RESULTS: Different users and disease profiles were found between mobile and stationary clinics. While older age, female sex, living further way from clinics, earthquake-related trauma, wound and gastrointestinal infections were found to be more significantly associated with mobile clinic users, stationary clinics patients tended to be younger, living closer to the clinic site, and disease profiles were predominantly chronic in nature. CONCLUSION: In addition to the provision of acute and chronic medical clinical service, mobile clinics operating during post acute emergency phase of natural disaster in remote areas should be sex sensitive, with highly trained and experienced staff as well as the capacity to provide trauma care.