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Médecins Sans Frontières

Guatemala

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Why are we here?

Social violence | Healthcare Exclusion | Natural disasters

Support for victims of sexual violence

  • In four years, the percentage of female patients seeking assistance at the MSFes sexual violence treatment programme within 72 hours of being assaulted has increased from 17 to 64 per cent.
  • Timely treatment means patients can receive prophylactic medication to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
  • Now survivors of sexual violence are now able to receive medical attention before a crime is reported, and medical staff in public health facilities have begun to offer treatment.
  • MSF completed the handover of its programme to the Ministry of Health in 2012, having provided 24-hour services to victims of sexual violence since 2008.
  • Teams worked in five locations: a health centre and two clinics on the outskirts of Guatemala City, the emergency department of the city’s general hospital, and in the Public Ministry, where assaults are reported.
  • MSF also worked to influence policies and practices, including advocating the availability of 24-hour healthcare.
  • In 2010, the Ministry of Health adopted a national protocol on the treatment for victims of sexual violence, facilitating access to healthcare, and in 2011 asked MSF to train its staff to implement this protocol. 

 Earthquake response

  • A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Guatemala’s Pacific coast on 7 November 2012, destroying hundreds of homes.
  • MSF donated medicines to health centres in affected districts of the department of San Marcos.
  • The team also provided psychological first aid – initial support and counselling in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event – to survivors suffering panic attacks.

For the latest news on where we work visit: http://activityreport.msf.org/

Doctors Without Borders has been working in the country since 1984