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MSF in Moldova , 2009
Field Staff: 8
Reason for Intervention:
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Transnistria, a politically isolated region in Moldova, has received little aid in the past despite the enormous assistance Moldova receives from international institutions to tackle the country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. MSF is assisting people living with HIV in this region where prevalence is four times higher than it is in the rest of the country. Before this intervention there was no treatment available.
In early 2007, MSF, together with the Ministry of Health and local authorities, set up the first HIV/AIDS program in the region. Patients started receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) at the new department in the main hospital in the capital, Tiraspol. Activities were extended to weekly visits to Bender Hospital to treat patients co-infected with TB, to Slobozia at the region’s only facility for HIV patients, and to Ribnitza in the north of the country to give weekly consultations in the city’s clinic.
MSF began providing treatment within the prisons, where the prevalence of HIV is as much as 13 times higher than it is among the general population. The prevalence of HIV/TB co-infection is also much higher. The program has now expanded to cover the entire prison system.
In February 2009, MSF handed over all activities to the national authorities. Some 850 patients, representing more than half of all HIV cases registered in the region, are now on the program.
With its work in the prisons and in the public HIV hospitals, MSF was able to demonstrate that it is possible to work in Transnistria and provide much-needed medical assistance to those most in need.
MSF has worked in Moldova since 2007.