Everybody Breathes: Treating TB in Eshowe, South Africa

South Africa

South Africa has the largest HIV patient cohort in the world and is helping to lead the way in gaining access to new treatments for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

In KwaZulu-Natal province, our project’s community-oriented approach is to increase integrated HIV testing and TB screening, as well as access and adherence to HIV treatment.

The Khayelitsha project near Cape Town continues to develop and implement treatment regimens for MDR-TB and innovative models of care for patients living with HIV and TB.

Our teams are currently responding to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa.

Our activities in 2020 in South Africa

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.

MSF in South Africa in 2020 In South Africa, MSF supported the COVID-19 response, while continuing to provide care for HIV and tuberculosis (TB) patients, victims of sexual violence and vulnerable migrants.
Map of activities in South Africa

To address the secondary consequences of COVID-19, which included a sharp decline in the uptake of health services, we adapted our existing activities in novel ways. Our sexual violence project in South Africa’s platinum belt ensured that health services for victims remained accessible through the provision of phone-based counselling and transport at a time when public services had ceased.

Our teams in Eshowe and Khayelitsha worked to maintain HIV and TB diagnosis and treatment through large-scale distribution of oral HIV self-testing kits, and by making sure that local facilities tested for COVID-19, HIV and TB at the same time. Staff delivered antiretrovirals (ARV) and medications for other chronic diseases to patients’ homes or community pick-up points, and provided home-based care for drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) patients.

Our teams worked in numerous shelters for homeless people in the cities of Tshwane and Johannesburg, delivering mental health and medical services, which in Tshwane included the distribution of opioid substitution therapy. During the first COVID-19 wave, we set up, staffed and managed a 60-bed COVID-19 field hospital in a sports hall in Khayelitsha, treating patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 in their community. In the second wave, we supported COVID-19 wards in seven hospitals in three provinces.

In 2020, MSF celebrated 20 consecutive years of operations, with milestones including the development of the first ARV treatment programmes on the continent and a successful push for shorter, less toxic treatment for DR-TB.


in 2020
Siyabulela Qwaka, XDR TB Survivor

More MSF patients with DR-TB gain access to dramatically cheaper version of life-saving drug

Press Release 1 Jul 2014
Journal article

Clinical Mentorship of Nurse Initiated Antiretroviral Therapy in Khayelitsha, South Africa: A Quality of Care Assessment

2 Jun 2014
Journal article
Siyabulela Qwaka, XDR TB Survivor
South Africa

"This disease is for heroes. If you can fight this, you can stand anything in this world"

Voices from the Field 24 Apr 2014
HIV and DR-TB treatment in Swazialnd, October 2013 (MSB3196 )

The old devil in new clothes

Voices from the Field 19 Mar 2014
Journal article

Outcomes in Adolescents Undergoing Treatment for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Cape Town, South Africa, 2008-2013

6 Mar 2014
Journal article
Nelisiwe Ziqugu, Community Health Agent, doing door to door HIV testing. KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

Two new studies point to impact of HIV treatment on transmission in high-HIV-burden African contexts

Press Release 6 Mar 2014
Journal article

Reflections on a decade of delivering PMTCT in Khayelitsha, South Africa

26 Feb 2014
Journal article
Journal article

Clinical Access to Bedaquiline Programme for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis

6 Feb 2014
Journal article
Project Update

MSF calls for scale-up of ‘viral load’ monitoring to improve HIV treatment outcomes in developing countries

Press Release 10 Dec 2013

Contact us

Bending the Curves - Eshowe HIV
MSF South Africa

7th Floor, Zurich House
70 Fox Street, Marshalltown
South Africa