In October 2023, in partnership with the Eastern Cape Department of Health, we launched a project to improve the identification and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Amathole District, which is MSF's first NCD project in South Africa. We aim to apply lessons from two decades of working on HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa to enhance NCD care in rural settings.
We also work with undocumented people and migrants in Tshwane, where we run a project that provides access to vaccines for these underserved communities.
Having achieved the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target in 2018 in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal, we redirected our approach to tackle the TB epidemic and reduce the number of cases in the area.
After 22 years of activities and campaigning, we closed our HIV and TB project in Khayelitsha, Western Cape in 2020.
Our activities in 2022 in South Africa
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2022.
Flash flooding in parts of KwaZulu-Natal province in April caused hundreds of deaths, displaced over 40,000 people and severely damaged infrastructure, including water and sanitation services. MSF launched a substantial emergency response, comprising medical teams and water, sanitation and hygiene experts. We supported mobile clinics in affected communities with medical staff, and provided water storage and sanitation in shelters for displaced people. In addition, our geohydrologists implemented innovative techniques for improving water yield and quality from strategically drilled boreholes.
In the city of Tshwane, where we run a migrant health project, our teams supported outreach healthcare services for marginalised people, such as those without documentation and drug users, including referrals to health facilities.
In September 2022, after 22 years, our teams working on HIV/AIDS and drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in Khayelitsha handed all remaining activities over to authorities. We launched the project in a context of HIV/AIDS denialism at the highest levels of government, starting by working to improve methods to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the disease, and were soon allowed to expand our involvement to HIV treatment for people of all ages, as well as operational research. One of the project’s standout achievements was the integration of HIV and TB services in clinics. It also contributed to the improvement of DR-TB treatment and care, by demonstrating that it is possible to substitute toxic injectable antibiotics with newer and more effective oral drugs.
Our project in Eshowe offered preventive treatment for TB – a medicine that reduces the risk that TB infection will progress to TB disease – through community health posts that were previously set up by MSF, adding to the existing TB, HIV and non-communicable diseases services that are already available at these conveniently located sites.
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