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MSF in Bolivia, 2002
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Primary care reaches women and children
Basic health care is out of reach for many Bolivians, and access to treatment for some diseases almost impossible. MSF provides primary care in rural and urban areas. It is also preparing to treat Chagas disease, an often fatal parasitic disease (read more about Chagas disease here).
MSF continues its primary health care program in Chimore in Cochabamba department, where the coca eradication policy has led to frequent violations of human rights. In collaboration with the local health center, the team supports primary care programs and runs education activities on hygiene, nutrition, mother and child health care and reproductive health. The project includes water and sanitation work to improve hygiene conditions in schools.
In impoverished El Alto, a city of about a million inhabitants on the outskirts of the capital La Paz, MSF efforts to strengthen mother and child health care are slowly taking shape. After extensive local administrative delays, MSF is now helping rebuild the Los Andes Hospital.
To help contain a yellow fever epidemic that hit the country in early 2002, MSF participated in a massive vaccination campaign in March, reaching 80% of the population in Chimore municipality.
In late 2002, MSF plans to begin activities to diagnose and treat Chagas disease in O'Conner province, Tarija department, one of the areas where it is most prevalent. Chagas disease is transmitted by triatomine insect bites and blood transfusions. It is endemic in Latin America and affects about 30% of Bolivians.
MSF has worked in Bolivia since 1987.