MSF, Doctors Without Borders, Swaziland, eSwatini

Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)

In Eswatini, we are supporting the Ministry of Heath to curb the dual epidemic of HIV and tuberculosis (TB), which, although showing signs of stabilizing, remains one of the worst globally

Around one-third of adults in Eswatini are currently living with HIV, and many of them are co-infected with other diseases, such as TB. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) continues to look at ways to reduce the incidence and transmission of the diseases and improve patient care. In 2019, our focus was to ensure that effective, innovative and sustainable HIV/ TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment interventions were available to vulnerable people in Shiselweni region.

The first new initiatives were the introduction of postnatal clubs for mothers and their babies, as well as clubs for youths and teens, and the establishment of health posts in remote communities. We also piloted the timely diagnosis of Acute HIV Infection (AHI), the first stage of HIV, which is not detected with routine testing, to prevent the early spread of the disease. Approximately four percent of patients who came for outpatient consultations with symptoms suggestive of HIV infection presented with AHI and initiated HIV treatment.

Our teams also improved interventions at general healthcare and at community level, for example making pre-exposure prophylaxis more easily available for people at high risk of HIV infection and training community health workers and traditional healers to distribute HIV self-testing kits. In addition, we began preparations to integrate care for non-communicable diseases (hypertension and diabetes) into 10 ‘one-stop shop’ HIV/TB general healthcare clinics.

We continued to work on improving drug-resistant TB diagnosis and care, including preparing for the implementation of oralonly shorter course treatment regimens (9-12 months). Advocating better treatment options for patients with advanced HIV remained a cornerstone of our work.

Finally, the cervical cancer screening programme and the viral load/TB laboratory were handed over to the Ministry of Health.

No. staff in 2019: 157 | Expenditure in 2019: €3.8 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 2007

A picture of health workers preparing health promotion items in South Africa
COVID-19 (coronavirus disease)

MSF: Urgent need for vaccines throughout the region as new COVID-19 strain ravages Southern Africa

Press Release 3 Feb 2021
Picture of Michelle Daka

Eswatini: How we joined the Jerusalema Dance Challenge to help save lives

Latest News 9 Dec 2020
COVID-19 (coronavirus disease)

Eswatini: Responding to COVID-19 in a country already fighting a dual HIV/TB epidemic

Latest News 7 May 2020

“No time to lose”: Rapid tests at local clinics desperately needed to prevent aids deaths

Press Release 2 Dec 2019
Drug-resistant TB

MSF hands over its Manzini project, continues activities in Shiselweni.

Press Release 28 Jun 2018
Drug-resistant TB

Sellah Moraa: “This is a story that I feel will never get out of my mind”

Patient and Staff Stories 12 May 2017