Thailand 1998

International staff: 24 National staff : 18 Home care for HIV/AIDS sufferers The disastrous economic situation in Southeast Asia has hit Thailand particularly badly resulting in cutbacks that affect the most vulnerable. MSF has been assisting displaced populations fleeing the dictatorial Mynamar regime since 1984. Over the past year, MSF supported Karen refugee camps, particularly Mae Sod, which were subjected to a number of attacks over recent months. Similar support is provided to a very cramped Karen camp in Ratchaburi. In Surin province, MSF ran an emergency operation between July and October 1997 on behalf of Cambodians displaced by the fighting. This evolved into refugee assistance when they fled into Thailand. A team in Sangklaburi provides cross-border support to Mons refugees who returned to Burma in 1995 and are now IDPs. In Surin province, MSF is developing a medical programme for people living with HIV/AIDS. This includes home care and setting up a network of people and organisations dealing with HIV/AIDS. A training programme began recently to improve the quality of health care offered to patients. Along with TB, HIV/AIDS is the focus in Chiang Mai province, with a strong community-based approach. MSF provides training in HIV/AIDS counselling, nursing care for patients in an MSF-run care centre and at home, and activities related to prevention. In Bangkok, home-based care for people with AIDS targets marginalised groups such as the very poor, women, children and migrant workers. MSF offers support, training and assistance in developing new strategies to NGOs, AIDS support groups and public health authorities, all of whom appreciate MSF's grassroots experience in this area.