Angola 1997-1998

Prospects for the peace process look bleak as armed attacks intensified during the first months of 1998. The health service remains in ruins after almost 30 years of war. The major objective of MSF's extensive activities in Angola is to rehabilitate and strengthen the health-care system in two-thirds of the provinces. The support provided to provincial and municipal hospitals varies according to size and need and may extend to supervision of all wards, as in the 300-bed hospital in Kuito. The assistance given to literally dozens of clinics and health posts focuses on general and mother-and-child health and includes activities such as training, TB projects, supplies of drugs and medical material, and management support. MSF also carries out nutritional surveys and runs feeding programmes such as those in Caala and Cubal hospitals. Vaccination programmes are another important aspect. MSF vaccinated around 30,000 people in Camacupa district, Bié province, in April 1998 in response to a meningitis outbreak. Teams carry out essential work building new health facilities and renovating others (e.g. a new paediatric unit in Maquela and the conversion of Songo health centre into a hospital, both in Uige province). Water and sanitation teams are involved in projects in several provinces, including two centres in Kwanza Norte province (Ndalatando and Quiculongo), where a sleeping sickness programme covers over 500,000 people. Active screening in also carried out in surrounding villages producing a significant increase in the number of patients treated.