Tanzania: Promoting better treatment for those with infectious diseases

The ministry of health's quick reaction to the outbreak stopped it in its early stages. After seven years of operating this cholera-preparedness project, which aimed at improving patient care and government response in Mtwara, MSF handed it over to the ministry in February 2004. In May 2004, MSF started a project in Zanzibar to improve treatment for malaria patients. The program's key component is to help local health authorities implement a national treatment protocol that includes the most effective first-line treatment, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). In Kigoma, the capital of Western province, MSF closed a malaria project because local health authorities refused to allow the use of ACT, while high parasite resistance to the medicines being used there impeded the organization's ability to treat patients effectively. An exploratory mission carried out in three sites in the southwestern Makete district to assess the impact of HIV/AIDS on civilians found that many people were in need of care. MSF is now preparing a project that will include activities to prevent the spread of the virus as well as treatment with life-extending antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. MSF will also advocate for free access to ARVs for those who urgently need them. MSF has worked in the United Republic of Tanzania since 1993. INTERNATIONAL STAFF: 7 NATIONAL STAFF: 35