Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continues to fill some of the most critical gaps in treatment for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) in Mozambique.
The national response has made progress in recent years, but HIV remains the leading cause of adult death in Mozambique, and the Ministry of Health estimates that 1.6 million people are infected. The country also has the world’s fifth-highest rate of HIV–TB co-infection, which is resulting in an emerging multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) problem.
Since 2001, MSF has supported the Ministry of Health to ensure access to comprehensive healthcare for HIV/AIDS and TB patients in the health districts of Kampfumo and Nlhamankulo (both formerly Chamanculo). The aim for the next few years is to provide specialised care for complicated cases and address emerging problems such as patients presenting late with HIV, those with HIV who fail first-line antiretroviral (ARV) treatment and those co-infected with opportunistic infections such as MDR-TB and Kaposi’s sarcoma, a cancer that causes patches of abnormal tissue to grow under the skin. In Primeiro de Maio health centre the MSF project focuses primarily on the needs of adolescents, and supports urban community ARV groups.
Viral load testing was rolled out in the public health centres of Maputo city and Changara district, as part of a pilot project aiming to improve patient monitoring. In Tete province, MSF works with community ARV groups, whose members meet regularly to support each other and take turns to pick up medicines from health centres. By the end of 2014, over 10,500 people had joined groups. A new ‘corridor project’ has started in the high-transit cities of Tete and Beira, targeting hard-to-reach populations such as sex workers, truck drivers and seasonal workers. More than 2,000 people were tested and treated for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
No. staff in 2014: 370 | Expenditure: €7.8 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1984 | msf.org/mozambique