Mobile health units: Mobilizing healthcare to reach unreachable
Purpose: Despite a considerable size, mobile health units (MHUs) are rarely noticed in healthcare network, probably due to its non-profit organization and lack of extensive evaluation. There is no published review, to best of our knowledge, which provides a descriptive insight of this sector and its position in public health. Present article thoroughly reviews available literature to explain MHU's setup, organization, and role in healthcare delivery. Methodology: Search was conducted using PUBMED, Cochrane, ScienceDirect, Popline, CINAHL, and Google for grey literature. Cross references of retrieved articles were hand-picked. The search was restricted to English language, full text articles, and literature made available between 1978 and 2015. Findings: This article highlights the impact of MHUs on ease of access to healthcare services, health outcomes of population served, their satisfaction and quality of life, and socio-economic factors. It further underlines the lacuna where MHUs either complement or may substitute conventional healthcare services. Limitations: This review may not be all-inclusive, since we searched only the electronic literature, thence are likely to miss the non-electronically published work on this topic, such as efforts done locally, on a small scale, or in a resource-poor area which is still not digitized. Value: It could be a valuable resource for a researcher, since it is the first review of its kind. It could fill the gap in published literature caused due to absence of an exhaustive review addressing MHUs.?"