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MSF in Mozambique, 2006
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An estimated 16 per cent of Mozambique's population is affected by AIDS, creating an urgent need for effective, accessible HIV/AIDS care in a country where the majority of the population lives in rural areas and below the poverty threshold. MSF is helping to address the epidemic through comprehensive HIV/AIDS projects throughout the country.
In the capital city of Maputo, MSF was treating over 5600 patients with antiretrovirals (ARVs) by the spring of 2006. MSF is working with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to make care available beyond main hospitals and at the primary healthcare level — decentralising care for asymptomatic cases that do not require such intense medical supervision, and patients who have recovered immunity through their treatment. Training local staff is a significant part of this effort, as is field research aimed at simplifying the treatment for patients suffering from HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
In Niassa province, MSF has an ongoing project in Lichinga district. Here, 650 patients were treated in the spring of 2006, with 400 of them undergoing treatment with ARVs. MSF is looking at decentralising comprehensive HIV/AIDS care, aiming for its program to be integrated into the public health system.
Midway through the country, in Tete province, MSF was providing ARVs to more than the country. 1639 people by the spring of 2006, as part of another comprehensive HIV/AIDS program that includes education, voluntary counselling, testing and treatment. In all MSF sites, activities were developed to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child. These have been well integrated into the public health system.
Preventing the spread of cholera
In January 2006, torrential rain fell in Sofala province, creating ideal conditions for cholera, the potentially deadly, waterborne disease that can spread rapidly without adequate sanitation. When the first cases of cholera appeared, MSF teams from Tete helped local authorities treat patients and stop the spread of the disease by providing equipment and logistical expertise. MSF also organised training in logistics and hygiene so local health workes are better able to deal with future outbreaks of cholera.
MSF has worked in Mozambique since 1984.