Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continues to address gaps in cardiac care, tuberculosis (TB) and mental healthcare in Chechnya.
The rate of heart disease in Chechnya is high, but the quality and scale of medical services do not meet the needs of people with coronary syndromes and cardiovascular emergencies. In Grozny, MSF continued to improve patient services at the cardio-resuscitation unit of the Republican Emergency Hospital, donating medicines and medical equipment and training staff on coronarography (an imaging technique to visualise the inside of coronary arteries) and angioplasty (an endovascular procedure to widen narrowed or obstructed coronary arteries). Training for ambulance staff who administer first aid was also initiated.
Drug-resistant TB is a life-threatening issue in Chechnya, resulting from years of poor TB diagnosis and interrupted treatment. A comprehensive programme, including diagnosis, treatment and counselling for TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), is integrated in health ministry facilities. Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), a form of the disease that does not respond to second-line drugs administered for MDR-TB, is also on the rise. MSF procured appropriate medicines to provide treatment for people with XDR-TB. The TB programme also includes laboratory support, health promotion and psychosocial assistance for patients and their families.
MSF runs a mental healthcare programme in Grozny and the mountainous districts of Chechnya still affected by violent clashes. People’s symptoms of trauma and anxiety are related to direct or indirect violence or abuse experienced in detention.
In August, an MSF project started in Moscow and provided over 700 outpatient consultations to migrants from former Soviet Union countries with limited or no other access to healthcare services. A limited number of referrals were also arranged for specialist care in state medical facilities.
No. staff in 2014: 132 | Expenditure: €4.9 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1992 | msf.org/russianfederation
Aslambek – 54-year-old heart patient
When I was admitted to the hospital for myocardial infarction [heart attack], I had an injection of a thrombolytic to restart my heart. But after being discharged, I still had pain. Then I was offered a new operation with [MSF] doctors who were coming soon. I accepted. The operation consisted of placing two stents. Since [the operation] I feel different, I can walk without any problem.