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MSF in Guatemala, 2006/2007
Field Staff: 111
Reason for Intervention:
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MSF is witnessing an increase of violence in Guatemala, and aiming to better understand the nature and extent of urban violence in order to provide an effective response. In 2007, a team began setting up medical and psychological services to answer to the needs of victims of social and domestic violence in Guatemala City.
Handing over numerous projects
Increased support from international donors and gradual improvements in healthcare funded and delivered through Guatemalan government structures led MSF to transfer a number of projects throughout 2006/2007. In Guatemala City a project for street children at the Tzité clinic was handed over in 2006 to a local NGO after running for six years. MSF conducted 2,393 external consultations, 206 pre-natal consultations, provided psychological assistance for 125 patients and had contact with 1,243 street children whilst running the program.
In Olopa municipality, where MSF teams have worked to improve access to healthcare and treatment for people affected by Chagas disease, activities were handed to local authorities in December 2006. Comprehensive assistance provided to people living with HIV/AIDS in Puerto Barrios and Livingstone was also handed to local health authorities in July 2007. Since 2005, increased international investment and expanded treatment by Ministry of Health clinics enabled MSF to hand over two HIV/AIDS treatment programs, one in Coatepeque in December 2006, and one at the Yaloc Clinic in Guatemala City in August 2007, together treating over 1,500 patients at time of handover.
Supplying HIV/AIDS drugs during stock-outs
In 2006 and 2007, MSF teams supplied anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) to several treatment centers that experienced repeated drug shortages. HIV/ AIDS patients risk a deterioration in immune system functioning and life-threatening opportunistic infections without a steady supply of ARVs.
MSF has advocated for these patients by urging the Global Fund to use its financial leverage to lower drug prices, and the Guatemalan government to take advantage of World Trade Organization mechanisms to purchase the most effective medicines at the best prices.
MSF has worked in Guatemala since 1984.