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MSF in Mozambique, 2009
Field Staff: 502
Reason for Intervention:
All articles on Mozambique »
HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are widespread in Mozambique. 15 per cent of people aged 15 to 49 are infected with HIV making it one of the worst affected countries in the world. Maternal mortality is high and Diarrheal diseases are endemic. Furthermore, the national healthcare system was shattered during the 16 years of civil war that ended in 1992, as were most social and economic infrastructures.
All MSF projects are focused on HIV/AIDS treatment and care, including the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the disease. In the capital Maputo, teams work in two districts, supporting two day-hospitals and nine health centers. Teams train staff, and provide psychosocial counseling for HIV-positive patients, including children. 18,000 patients are receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART).
MSF is developing and promoting innovative models to help meet the high demand for healthcare and is lobbying the government to introduce a ‘task shifting’ approach in hospitals to help to counter the shortage of doctors and nurses. This includes training local medical staff to prescribe ART drugs and administer repeat prescriptions, and permitting the use of lay counselors.
MSF is supporting the care and follow-up of HIV-positive patients in provincial hospitals in the northwest of the country and is providing technical support to health centers. In Tete city, following a decentralization of patient care from hospital to health center level, the project is now focused on training and supervision of Ministry of Health staff, with the view to handing back the project in 2010.
During 2009, MSF carried out 240,500 consultations and provided ART to 25,500 patients.
‘My name is Margarida. I live in a village outside the city of Tete, in northwest Mozambique. Other people know that I’m HIV-positive, but I’m not worried or ashamed of my disease. MSF encouraged me to help others with HIV. I am now the leader of one of MSF’s HIV patient groups. My role is to collect medication at the health center and distribute it to the others in the group. Before, each member used to pay one hundred meticals ($3.40) to travel back and forth to the health center. Now, each member pays me seven meticals ($0.24) to support my travel, and I bring the medication to their house. The patients in the group appreciate this, because many don’t have enough money to travel to the health center.
It’s great to be able to help others to take care of their illness. I’m taking medication but I am healthy and working like other people. I want other HIV-positive people to join me and enjoy life.’
MSF has worked in Mozambique since 1984.