Burma: Concerns for refugee protection

National staff : 58
International staff : 19

MSF has been providing assistance on the Burmese border to Karen and Mons refugees since 1983 and 1992 respectively. MSF works in three refugee camps in the Mae Sot region and one in Ratchaburi as well as in a refugee camp in Sangklaburi which has been relocated inside the Burmese border following the ceasefire in 1995. MSF provides medical assistance, training for health care staff and monitors epidemics such as malaria and cholera which are endemic in this region.

The financial crisis has also resulted in more difficulties for people with AIDS and their families. In Bangkok, home-based care for people with AIDS targets marginalised groups. MSF offers support, training and assistance to community hospitals and local aid agencies and is a key member of a local NGO campaign known as "Access to Treatment", which is linked with MSF's international campaign on the issue of access to medicines. MSF also started working in four clinics in 1998.

The programme to assist people living with HIV/AIDS in the eastern province of Surin began at the end of 1996. This includes home care and the creation of support networks. MSF trains health care staff and an MSF doctor sees HIV/AIDS patients in Surin Hospital, where he works alongside Thai health care staff. MSF would like to start using this approach in more health structures around the province.

The MSF nurse makes home visits to follow up on patients and to help them remain in their communities. HIV/AIDS sufferers are often rejected by Thai society. The team also tries to diminish the risks of mother to child transmission of the HIV virus.