Tanzania: Combatting epidemics

From December 1997 to September 1998, in the wake of the cholera outbreak in the western region of Kigoma and the capital, Dar-es-Salaam, as well as Mtwara and Lindi on the east coast, MSF teams launched an emergency preparedness programme for future epidemics. Health care staff received training from MSF and a health information system was set up. From May to November 1998 intervened in a malaria epidemic in the Nshamba division of Muleba district in the Northwestern region of Kagera. The team hospitalised patients suffering from severe malaria, trained health care staff in dealing with the symptoms and upgraded the referral system. There are currently 300,000 refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) living inside Tanzanian borders. In August 1998, MSF set up a transit camp in Kigoma for incoming refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Activities included camp construction, medical consultations, in-patient services and support to neighbouring refugee camps. MSF also runs community health care programmes in the western districts of Kigoma and Kasulu and the Southeastern Mtwara district.