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MSF in Cameroon, 2008
Field Staff: 170
Reason for Intervention:
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MSF continues to be involved in the treatment of Buruli ulcer, one of the most neglected but treatable diseases in the world. Buruli ulcer is a bacterial infection related to tuberculosis and leprosy. The infection destroys skin and bone tissue and if not treated can lead to deformity.
The Buruli ward in Akonolinga hospital in Cameroon’s Centre Province offers free and comprehensive care for patients affected by this disease. More than 700 patients have been treated since the opening of the project.
Most patients come from the Akonolinga district, but others come from different provinces and regions.
In 2008 many changes were made to the provision of care. Treatment and care were decentralized and a different kind of dressing was used so that people living in remote areas could receive treatment without being hospitalized.
Each year MSF gains more experience in treating Buruli ulcer and as a result is able to provide better-quality care adapted to patients’ needs. MSF is also trying to draw the attention of researchers and donors to this disease, which affects not only African countries such as Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire, but also Australia.
During 2008, on average 54 patients per month were hospitalized. The hospital bed occupancy rate reached 77 percent.
In 2008 MSF closed the PRETIVI project for the prevention and integrated treatment of HIV/AIDS, which started in 2003 and provided antiretroviral (ARV) therapy to people with HIV/ AIDS in Douala, the second-largest city in Cameroon. The creation of a national project for HIV/AIDS treatment financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria enabled MSF to take this step.
MSF also closed its projects in Baturi, located in eastern Cameroon, which provided humanitarian assistance to refugees from the Central African Republic.
MSF has worked in Cameroon since 2000.