Caravans in the countryside

Each caravan is organized during the weekend, and it progresses in 3 steps.
Stage 1 - Blood and urine sample drawing

First, a team of two volunteers members of the Caravan team together with 2 nurses from Synevo Laboratories arrive to the specific location a week prior to the caravan in order to obtain blood and urine samples from the people. The delegated team informs the patients about the procedures, the patients sign an informed consent form, and then biological samples are obtained. Finally, the patients are scheduled for the consult which will take place the following weekend

The tests include a large set of analyzes, focusing on the screening of viral hepatitis B and C, thyroid pathology, diabetes detection and monitoring of treatment effectiveness in those already diagnosed with diabetes, prostate cancer risk-assessment, as well as lipid profiles and monitoring renal and hepatic function.

The next weekend, a team of about 30 volunteers including specialists, residents and medical students arrives at the site. The location where the medical activity takes place - regardless it is a building of the village or our towed trailer - is arranged in such a manner that the patient follows a logical circuit. Thus, there is a waiting room, several cabinets for clinical exams, ultrasound rooms and specialty consults chambers depending on the necessities of the village (internal medicine, cardiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, pediatrics, etc.). The rooms are converted into medical examination rooms using mattresses as make-shift consult beds and medical devices like electrocardiographs for further investigations.

Upon arrival, the patient is welcomed by a team member and led to the waiting room where he is handed an order receipt and an informed consent form that he has to read and sign prior to the consult. The patients are invited to enter the examination rooms as they arrive and there they will see a doctor that will perform an anamnesis, a complete physical examination and an electrocardiogram. Women can also be clinically investigated by a gynecologist in a separate examination room, where they perform Pap smears, the standard cervical cancer screening test. The result of the test is sent during the following week to the general practitioner or to a contact person. The children aren’t neglected either, and a team of pediatricians examines them and gives their parents advice on proper alimentation for pursuing age-specific growth.

Following the clinical examination and assessment of the blood work, the team of volunteers that offer medical attention to the patient decides if they need further examination (e.g. an ultrasound examination or specialist consult: cardiology, internal medicine, ophthalmology, neurology, rheumatology, dermatology, etc.); otherwise they will be discharged and will receive a medical letter containing recommendations which should be followed under the GP’s supervision.

We draw up reports at the end of each caravan to have a clear record of the activity carried out over the two days. The information obtained is further processed by the Scientific Department volunteers, who draft a statistical report of the most common pathologies of a certain area. By gathering the data from several caravans, one can evaluate the issues that require more attention from the physician or from the local authorities:

  • facilitating the access to medical services (for example: GPs or medical practitioners at a reasonable distance from the patients);
  • offering information about the importance of proper nutrition in certain pathologies (for example: cholesterol lowering hypolipidemic diets, since high cholesterol values is a risk factor involved in myocardial infarction);
  • offering information on the ways of transmission of the viral hepatic diseases or other contagious illnesses (such as tuberculosis);
  • encouraging people to seek medical help from the first symptoms of a disease (discovering a breast nodule during self-palpation, changes in the aspect of a mole).