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MSF in Guinea, 2005
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Current MSF activities in Guinea focus on treating people with malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS, though MSF continues to respond to emergencies as necessary.
As part of its work to prevent and treat malaria, which is endemic in the country, MSF advocates for improved diagnosis and treatment using artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). In 2004, MSF staff carried out a malaria study in the prefecture of Dabola, documenting the effectiveness of ACT treatments. MSF uses ACT in all of its projects in Guinea, and advocates for a change in treatment protocols at the national level.
Since 1988, MSF has worked to improve diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB). In close collaboration with the ministry of health, MSF staff have trained doctors and health workers to manage TB at the district level, have improved case detection and treatment, and have supplied drugs and laboratory equipment. MSF has also carried out activities to raise awareness about TB within communities and has established a database to help health workers track TB cases and provide follow-up care. In April 2005, MSF transferred to local partners the responsibility for its TB activities in Moyenne Guinea, and the organization is planning to hand over its project in Conakry, the capital, at the end of 2005. Patients co-infected with HIV and TB will continue to be supported by MSF through its HIV/AIDS project in Conakry, located on the western Atlantic coast of the country.
The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Guinea has increased over the past few years, although data are scarce and the true extent of the problem remains unknown. In the Communal Medical Center in Conakry and the prefecture hospital of Guéckedou, on the border with Sierra Leone, MSF is providing comprehensive HIV/AIDS care, including voluntary counseling and testing, and treatment of opportunistic infections (such as TB). The MSF team is helping to build the capacity of local health workers through training and supervision, and provides drugs and medical supplies.
In 2004, MSF became the first organization in the country to offer life-extending antiretroviral (ARV) therapy to people living with AIDS. As of August 2005, approximately 300 patients were receiving ARVs. MSF provides medical care to refugees living in Lainé and Nonah camps in the southeastern prefecture of N'Zérékoré. Located in heavily forested areas, these camps are home to thousands of refugees from Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire. In June 2005, the MSF team carried out more than 5,000 consultations in Lainé camp and more than 2,000 in Nonah camp. The most common problems were malaria and respiratory infections.
In June 2005, MSF ended activities at Kuankan camp in Macenta prefecture, also in southeastern Guinea, as the population of Liberian refugees living in the camp dwindled. MSF provided basic health services and managed a surgical ward in Macenta Hospital. Nearly 30,000 consultations were carried out in the camp during 2004. Staff also performed 1,000 operations in the hospital in 2004, 40 percent of which were emergency surgeries.
In August 2005, MSF responded to a cholera outbreak in Conakry, providing logistical and medical support to a health care center where almost 700 people were treated.
MSF has worked in Guinea since 1984.