Bruno De Cock
In Kuito, central Angola (Bi Province), MSFB works together with MINSA, the ministry of health, to treat tuberculosis patients at the Kuito district hospital where MSF operates the TB sanatorium and TB village. The TB village was built in 2002 after intense discussions with MINSA regarding best ways of ensuring that people with TB can finish their 8-month long treatment under medical supervision. It was decided that providing patients living quarters and food for the entire length of the treatment would be the best option for those patients who do not live in Kuito town. The Kuito project is one of MSF's largest TB projects worldwide. In 2005 the Kuito sanatorium admitted approxiamtely 700 patients. Over 20% of these were children. Patients coming from far away municipalities and their family spend months in the TB village on the hospital's compound. This is necessary so that they can finish their TB treatment which requires taking medicines daily under medical supervision. In 2005, the number of patients living in the vilage diminished as the focus is shifting to an approach of treating patients as closely to their homes as possible. In January, 53 patients were staying in the village, by the end of November only 30 patients were staying here. Patient treatment is being decentralised to 6 other municipios (Camacupa, Cuemba, Chinguar, Andulo, Chitembo, Nhareah) where an MSF presence is assured.
Angola was embroiled in civil war for almost the entire quarter century since it's independence in 1975. MSF has been working in Angola since 1983, adressing the medical and nutritional needs of populations throughout the country. Landmines, broken infrastructure and poor roads make access to people a challenge. Almost 3 million Angolans are displaced.