Why are we there?
- Endemic/Epidemic disease
This is an excerpt from MSF's 2013 International Activity Report:
The prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) in Cambodia is one of the highest in the world. Fewer than 20 percent of the people in Cambodia infected are diagnosed each year, and as a result of this morality rates are very high. It is therefore essential to find new methods for better and earlier detection. In 2013, the TB department of Kampong Cham provincial hospital became fully operational, and offered detection, diagnosis, and comprehensive care for TB patients and those suspected of having the disease, whether it was drug-sensitive, complicated, or drug-resistant (DR-TB). People from around the province come to the hospital for testing. MSF also supports the diagnosis and follow-up of TB patients in Choeung Prey district. In Tboung Khmum district, MSF is aiming to screen all inhabitants aged over 55.
In Phnom Penh and Kandal provinces, MSF worked with a local organization, the Cambodia Health Committee, and the national program CENAT to treat 20 DR-TB patients and will continue to provide follow-up until they finish their treatment. Thanks to this collaboration, MSF monitored almost half of the diagnosed DR-TB patients in Cambodia in 2013.
Malaria in Preah Vihear district
MSF carried out a baseline survey this year, looking at the percentage of inhabitants in the district with the Plasmodium falciparum strain of malaria in their blood and more specifically at artemisinin resistance. In 2014, a project with a specific treatment protocol will be developed with the aim of demonstrating that artemisinin-resistant malaria can be eliminated.
Handover of prison project
MSF started working in two Phnom Penh prisons in 2006, in response to high HIV mortality rates. At the end of June 2013, the TB and HIV projects were handed over to two national program and other local partners as a result of improvements in care and the implementation of a long-term approach.
At the end of 2012, MSF had 159 staff in Cambodia. MSF has been working in the country since 1979.
“In the beginning of my DR-TB treatment I suffered bad side effects like fever, dizziness, headaches and abdominal pain—it was very hard. I wanted to stop the treatment but, when I saw the other patients trying, I wanted to continue, even though it was so difficult.
"MSF people come to my house often to talk with me and check how my four children are. They also bring me food sometimes; if I don’t have enough food to eat, I get really unwell and the side effects are worse.
"The village nurse comes every day to give me drugs and see how I am doing.”
* The patient’s name has been changed