Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)

Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) has one of the world’s highest rates of HIV, with nearly one in three adults living with the disease. However, around 80 per cent of people with Tuberculosis (TB) in Eswatini are HIV positive.

Estimates suggest that HIV incidence rates in Eswatini have fallen in recent years, as significant progress has been made in improving the number of people receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

We continue to help more HIV patients access ARV treatment through the ’test and start’ strategy. A team has been piloting ‘test and start’ in the Nhlangano project; after HIV testing, ARV treatment was offered to more than 1,700 people after a positive HIV diagnosis to start treatment immediately.

We now treat patients with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) and those developing severe side effects, using the promising new drugs bedaquiline and delamanid in combination with repurposed drugs.

Our Activities in Eswatini in 2022

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2022.

MSF IN ESWATINI IN 2022 Doctors Without Borders/MSF has been working in Eswatini’s Shiselweni region for 15 years, responding to various health issues, including HIV and tuberculosis (TB), and, since 2020, COVID-19.

In 2022, during the fourth COVID-19 wave, we provided home-based support, enabling patients to receive treatment for the virus without having to travel long distances. As well as home visits, we offered follow-up care through teleconsultations. As new infections declined from July, we switched our focus to providing vaccinations and using the two oxygen plants we installed in Hlathikhulu and Nhlangano in 2021 to improve care for patients with COVID-19 and other oxygen-dependent conditions.

As part of our patient-centred approach, we continued to run innovative, digitally-supported programmes that guarantee the quality of care, such as video-observed therapy for drug-resistant TB, whereby a health worker remotely watches a patient take their medication. We also introduced ‘The Pocket Clinic’ project, which offers counselling sessions pre- and post-HIV testing through smart devices. These types of innovations strengthen adherence to treatment, as they make seeking care easier and more affordable.

To curb the spread of HIV in Eswatini, which has the highest prevalence of the disease in the world, MSF offered health education and access to preventive measures, such as condoms and pre-exposure prophylaxis, to people who tested negative.

We also initiated a study to examine the burden of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the feasibility of providing STI care in the community in Eswatini. The study assessed the prevalence of asymptomatic and symptomatic STIs and involved continuous engagement with participants through interviews. The results will be disseminated at the end of 2023.

To address the rise in non-communicable diseases, a pilot programme was implemented for fixed-dose combinations of two drugs in a single pill for hypertension treatment.

We have also been implementing environmentally-friendly measures to minimise MSF’s carbon footprint, using solar panels to generate electricity in a remote clinic in Gege and using hybrid energy vehicles for transport where possible.

In 2022

Doctors without Borders, MSF Scientific Days - Medical Research Day
Access to Healthcare

MSF Scientific Days 2024

Press Release 15 Apr 2024
MSF, Doctors Without Borders, new comprehensive sexual health clinic in Eswatini
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)

MSF opens new comprehensive sexual health clinic in Matsapha, Eswatini

Latest News 23 Feb 2024
HIV/TB Integration

“Despite the challenges I've faced, my determination to aid patients has grown"

Fieldworkers Stories 15 Jun 2023
MSF, Doctors Without Borders, Eswatini, Video observed TB treatment
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)

From Nhlangano to the Future: MSF's legacy in Shiselweni region 5 key facts about MSF in Eswatini

Patient and Staff Stories 31 May 2023
MSF, Doctors without borders, Mobile Clinics in Shiselweni region

The “Pocket Clinic”: modelling how MSF simplifies HIV self-testing

Latest News 1 Dec 2022
MSF, Doctors Without Borders, Eswatini vaccination campaign
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

Tackling COVID-19 vaccination barriers in hard-to-reach areas of Eswatini

Latest News 4 Feb 2022