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MSF in Kenya, 2004
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MSF's long relationship with Kenya has been focused in recent years largely on helping those living with HIV/AIDS. Today more than 2.5 million of the country's 32 million residents are living with this disease. In several locations, MSF has begun providing HIV testing and counseling services, care for patients with opportunistic infections and treatment with life-extending antiretroviral (ARV) medicines. As of August 2004, MSF staff working in the Mathare slums of Nairobi were providing care and ARV treatment to 386 people including 49 children, as well as treatment for tuberculosis (TB), a common co-infection of HIV/AIDS. In the city's Mbagathi district hospital and in the Kibera area, MSF has started treating 600 people with ARVs including 80 children. And in Homa Bay in western Kenya, MSF works in the city and in three peripheral health centers to provide ARVs to 1,565 people, including 86 children, as well as TB treatment.
In and around the rural town of Busia in western Kenya, MSF provides home-based AIDS care to more than 1,500 patients who are too weak to seek health care themselves and who lack social support. A total of 502 people, including 20 children, are participating in Busia's ARV program. In all, more than 3,000 Kenyan patients are now receiving ARVs through MSF. Based on its own experience, MSF also shares information with the government on ways to get ARV treatment to the estimated 250,000 people in Kenya who need it urgently but cannot afford it.
In April 2004, MSF responded to alarming malnutrition in the drought-stricken north of the country by starting a therapeutic feeding program in Turkana. MSF continues to monitor the nutritional situation of people living near Marsabit.
MSF has worked in Kenya since 1987.