After years of war, Chechnya's health system is failing. Its citizens are falling victim to noncommunicable diseases antagonized by bad habits, such as smoking and poor diet, not to mention the stress of living in a war zone. As a result, two thirds of deaths in the country are caused by cardiovascular disease. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works in Grozny's Republican Emergency Hospital, where today there is hope: in the hospital's cardiology unit, new equipment is helping to improve the health of Chechens. Oxygen concentrators, defibrillators and electro cardiographs have reduced the unit's mortality rate by over 75 percent, according to staff there, who treated more than 1,500 patients in just one year.
After years of conflict, a large number of tuberculosis (TB) cases are now being diagnosed in Chechnya. Half are drug-resistant cases. To help ensure that patients adhere to treatment, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has set up a counseling program which is an integral part of the treatment.
In 2007, when it finally became safe enough to open a project in Chechnya’s capital city of Grozny MSF began offering consultations to a population with little access to health services. The project is coordinated from Moscow, and while security is still a concern, MSF has expanded its work to include care for women and children in northen Chechnya.