Why are we there?
- Endemic/Epidemic disease
This is an excerpt from MSF's 2012 International Activity Report:
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most serious public health challenges facing Cambodia.
In Kampong Cham hospital, MSF offers treatment for both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). DR-TB is much harder to treat because it is a form of the disease against which first-line drug regimens have failed.
A priority is to improve detection of the disease and actively look for and test people who may have it. MSF invites individuals patients have had contact with, such as family members, to be tested, and works with hospital staff, particularly in the pediatric ward, to identify patients who may have TB.
The team carries out regular awareness-raising activities to help increase knowledge and understanding of TB and reduce the stigma surrounding the disease.
These activities, as well as the completion of a new laboratory, have all contributed to a significant growth in patient numbers. Each month MSF staff now conduct around 1,000 consultations inside Kampong Cham hospital’s TB ward.
The team also makes home visits to DR-TB patients who have difficulty getting to the hospital, and a telephone hotline is available for anyone with an urgent inquiry. The overall number of patients is expected to double in 2013.
Handover of services in Phnom Penh prisons
Since February 2010, MSF has been working in three prisons in the capital Phnom Penh. Teams provide care and treatment for HIV and TB. The program is in the process of being handed over to a number of national organizations. Most support will stop by July 2013, although staff will remain to care for patients with HIV.
At the end of 2012, MSF had 129 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