Why are we there?

  • Endemic/epidemic disease
  • Health care exclusion

Our work

This is an excerpt from MSF-USA's 2012 Annual Report:

MSF remained the sole provider of health care in the Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab, where teams ran a 200-bed hospital and four health centers, providing Somalis with vaccinations, antenatal consultations, and mental health care, carrying out 14,000 consultations and admitting 1,000 patients from the refugee and host communities each month.

MSF also ran feeding programs for children ages 10 and younger and admitted more than 2,200 severely malnourished children for inpatient treatment. Teams responded to hepatitis E and cholera outbreaks as well.

Despite the needs, however, MSF did not send international staff to Dadaab due to a succession of security incidents, particularly the abduction of Montserrat Serra and Blanca Thiebault, who were held in captivity after being abducted for more than 18 months until their freedom was finally secured.

Elsewhere, MSF provided psychosocial support to 900 people affected by intercommunal clashes in the Tana River district. In Homa Bay, MSF cared for more than 10,500 people living with HIV/AIDS and registered 345 patients in its TB program.

In Nairobi, MSF teams at four clinics in the Mathare and Kibera slums saw more than 10,000 patients each month, providing services that include testing and care for HIV and TB, maternal and pediatric care, treatment for chronic diseases, and cervical cancer screening for women with HIV.

MSF offered medical and psychosocial care to dozens of victims of sexual violence each week as well. And work was completed on a health center in Kibera that will house a 24-hour maternity unit.

At the Kacheliba hospital in West Pokot district, MSF treated 500 patients for kala azar and trained health workers before handing over the project to the MOH. Staff also provided reproductive health care and treatment for 4,800 people in North Eastern province’s Ijara district before handing over that project as well.

At the end of 2012, MSF had 851 staff in Kenya. MSF has worked in the country since 1987.

Patient story

Dickens, 34-years-old, is undergoing treatment for HIV and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).

"I discovered that I had TB in 2008, when I was working in Tanzania. I wasn’t getting better and in February 2010 I came back home.

I was put on first-line medication, three tablets. I started losing weight very rapidly. It was scary. I weighed 58 kilograms, and then within two weeks I dropped to 51.

They realized that I was probably resistant. So they sent my sputum to Nairobi and the result came back that I had MDR-TB. I was referred to Homa Bay, and luckily I got into the program and started treatment in October 2010.

I also have HIV. I take 19 tablets for MDR-TB and four tablets for HIV every day. I’ve not undergone many other treatments, but I don’t think that there is any treatment worse than this one.

We [the patients] support each other. It’s important, because sometimes people feel like running away. When I got here I was very weak, I could walk only short distances. Now I weigh 60 kg, I am walking, and I am already halfway through treatment."

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