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MSF in Laos, 2008
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Five years ago, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was one of the first organizations in Laos to treat HIV/AIDS patients with antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. At the time, it was necessary to demonstrate that ARV therapy could be used effectively in remote, impoverished settings. The strategy included lobbying at the national level for the adoption of ARV therapy, and the aim from the beginning was to hand the programs over to Laotian health officials. MSF’s programs were based at Savannakhet provincial hospital and at Setthathirath hospital in Vientiane.
In 2008, nearly 850 patients benefited from the ARV therapy provided free of charge by MSF. During the year the teams finalized the handover to local medical staff, who had been trained to work independently.
The international financing institution The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria is now overseeing the funding of the country’s HIV/AIDS programs.
MSF worked in Laos from 1989 to 2008.