- About Us
- Our Work
- Work With MSF
- Public Events
- Press Room
MSF in Thailand, 2007
Field Staff: 225
Reason for Intervention:
All articles on Thailand »
MSF provides medical care, including HIV /AID S treatment and prevention, for vulnerable groups, ethnic minorities and migrants.
Establishing non-discriminatory care for HIV/AIDS
MSF began its first antiretroviral treatment (ART) program in Thailand in 2000 and has since worked closely with the health authorities and local partners to support people living with HIV/AIDS and improve treatment and care. Currently, 100,000 patients receive free first-line ART through the national health security scheme. Second-line treatments are also available free.
In Kalasin province, north-east Thailand, MSF is working in partnership with Kuchinarai district hospital and support groups to strengthen and maintain first-line ART through viral load monitoring and community activities. Currently, 220 patients receive first-line treatment and five patients are on second-line treatment.
MSF began screening and treating patients for retinitis CMV, a dangerous opportunistic infection that can lead to blindness and death. Twenty-eight patients have received treatment.
In Chiang Saen and Mai Sai hospital, in Chang Rai province on the Thai-Lao border, MSF offers cross-border HIV/AIDS treatment and care to unregistered minorities from Myanmar and Laos. MSF has also strengthened the capacity of three Lao hospitals and Lao patients can now be referred and treated in their country.
Providing healthcare to migrants and minorities
In Petchabun, northern Thailand, MSF has been ensuring adequate medical care, water supply and sanitation in the Lao Hmong refugee camp since 2005. In late June, 7,900 refugees were relocated to a bigger holding camp. MSF continued its medical and water and sanitation services in the new camp and began food distribution. Mental health activities began in November, with the main diagnoses including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorders.
Thailand has announced the repatriation of Hmong refugees and is screening the population without involving an independent party. MSF has urged Thailand not to repatriate refugees without proper guarantees of their well being on return to Laos. MSF is also asking for an independent third party, such as UNHCR, to monitor the situation.
In Mae Sot, on the Thai-Burmese border, MSF began treating tuberculosis (TB) among unregistered migrant workers from Burma and refugees in Mae Lae camp in 1999. The project also offers counseling and health education. In 2007, there were 5,234 consultations involving 581 TB patients, 70 per cent of whom successfully completed treatment. Twenty-one patients have drug-resistant TB. MSF also offers ART for those co-infected with TB and HIV and had 115 patients under ART at the end of the year.
In Phang Nga, thousands of undocumented migrant workers from Burma are still crossing the border to seek jobs in Thailand. As they have no official access to heathcare, MSF provides mobile clinics, health centers and Burmese-speaking medical staff. The primary healthcare services include mother-child healthcare and treatment of communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS. MSF carried out over 4,500 consultations and some 200 women were assisted to give birth safely in hospital.
Providing healthcare to excluded populations
Drug users are among the highest risk groups for HIV infection. MSF provides health education and trains peer workers in one of Bangkok’s drop-in centers.
MSF is progressively handing over its project in two prisons in Bangkok to the Department of Correction. The project, which began in 2003, offered HIV prevention information and treatment to prisoners. MSF also trained prison medical staff and covered laboratory costs. MSF is working with the Department of Correction to develop a training curriculum, which will be used to extend these services to all Thai prisons.
MSF has worked in Thailand since 1983.