Tajikistan: MSF rehabilitates mental hospitals

MSF has rehabilitated the country's two largest mental hospitals, one in the south of the country and one in the north. MSF has also rehabilitated a number of mental health dispensaries in the north and south.

Medicine, food, clothing and household supplies have been distributed among 15 mental hospitals throughout Tajikistan. A training programme for nursing staff in the psychiatric institutions has also been launched, which focuses on patient care.

A primary health care programme is carried out in the Karategin Valley in central Tajikistan. Activities have included the distribution of medicine and medical material to rural health posts and training for health care staff.

MSF first started working in the isolated eastern region of Pamir in 1991. The initial activity centred around the supply of medicine and medical material to health structures. Then the programme was expanded to include vaccination and the distribution of vitamin A and D. Since 1996, MSF has transferred many activities to the Aga Khan Foundation which runs a long-term distribution programme in this region. From August 1998 to April 1999, MSF supervised medical care in the hospitals and clinics of the Rushan and Shugnan districts, with particular emphasis on the management of the pharmacies and the rational use of medicine by the health care staff.

In November 1998, MSF carried out medical distributions to all health structures in the districts. A team also intervened following the outbreak of anthrax in Rushan, and a typhoid fever epidemic in Kholog in late 1998.

At this time, an evaluation of the health structures in Kholog was carried out. MSF now plans to relaunch vaccination in the whole province and to provide technical support to the departments of infectious disease in Kholog hospital.