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MSF in Swaziland, 2008
Field Staff: 55
Reason for Intervention:
All articles on Swaziland »
In Swaziland, it is estimated that HIV/AIDS affects one adult in four, and 80 percent of patients with tuberculosis (TB) also have HIV. Since November 2007, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been working in the Shiselweni region with public health staff to treat these two diseases.
MSF is decentralizing the services offered to HIV-positive people and TB patients in the Shiselweni region. The goal is to establish a one-stop system, to give patients the opportunity to be treated for these two diseases at the same time in the same location by the same health workers. Screening and treatment are now offered at Hlatikulu hospital and in the Nhlangano and Matsanjeni health centers, as well as in nine out of 20 other health centers in the region. In 2008, in the Shiselweni region, nearly 2,300 patients received TB treatment, as well as 1,870 TB patients co-infected with HIV/ AIDS who received antiretroviral therapy.
In 2008, an estimated 12,000 new cases of TB were identified in Swaziland, including 200 people who had contracted a form of resistance to treatment. Of these, 42 were diagnosed and monitored in Shiselweni. Identifying and treating resistant forms of TB is a priority because of the dangerous and complex nature of the disease.
MSF works directly with communities and people living with HIV/AIDS on prevention and education, research and detection of cases and patient follow-up. Encouraged by their good adherence to treatment, ‘expert patients’ who have personal experience of chronic disease help other patients to gain control of the disease and live positively with HIV/AIDS.
MSF has worked in Swaziland since 2007.