• This report also in Arabic.

(January 2009) The Egyptian government introduced its mobile clinic project nationally in 1997 to provide women living in remote rural areas with family planning services and other basic health care. This study of mobile clinics in Assuit Governorate in Upper Egypt found that contraceptive use is still relatively low in rural areas; most women with access to mobile clinics don’t use their services; and reasons for not visiting mobile clinics include social stigma and misconceptions about the kind and quality of services offered.

This study examines patterns of contraceptive use among rural women in Assuit Governorate and explores the underlying reasons that prevent women from visiting mobile clinics. The findings can help policymakers and health planners at the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population assess the overall costs and benefits of its mobile clinic project and develop programs to remove barriers that discourage women from using services offered by these clinics.

Ghada Salah-ElDeen T. Al-Attar is a Ph.D. candidate in public health and community medicine at Assuit University, in Egypt. She participated in PRB’s MENA Fellowship Program in 2008 and prepared this paper, based on a longer, unpublished paper covering the same topic. Al-Attar is also a medical doctor and an assistant lecturer of public health and community medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at Assuit University. Al-Attar can be reached at ghada_attar@yahoo.com.