MSF continues to run dedicated Saturday ‘teen clubs’, which offer HIV screening, care, follow-up, and psychological support for younger patients. Attendance at these clubs, which provide a safe, friendly space where teenagers can benefit from peer support, has been shown to enhance adherence to treatment and a patient’s overall wellbeing. In Blantyre district, Malawi’s main economic hub, in close collaboration with the Malawian Ministry of Health, we have developed a comprehensive oncological program to screen, diagnose, and treat cervical cancer, which accounts for 40 percent of all cancers among women in Malawi and kills over 2,000 of them each year. Our activities are based in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the district’s main city and include outpatient treatment for precancerous and cancerous lesions, as well as surgery, chemotherapy, and dedicated palliative home-based care for those in the advanced stages of the disease. The cervical cancer screening units are integrated in eight health centers in Blantyre and Chiradzulu districts, where a mobile screening unit is also working.
In 2021, MSF teams also supported the local health authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic at Queen Elizabeth Hospital by providing additional staff, oxygen, and medical supplies.