MSF staff in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal speaking with a Drug Resistant Tuberculosis patient

South Africa

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.

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 survivors 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.

No. staff in 2020: 254 (FTE) » Expenditure in 2020: €12 million MSF first worked in the country: 1986

Stop TB posters outside Luyanda Site in Eshowe,  Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

Everybody Breathes: Fighting TB in Eshowe

Documentary 19 Nov 2020
The catastrophic flash flooding that ensued on 11 April in the eThekwini region in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province has left 40,000 people homeless and many are sheltering in community-based schools, churches and halls without food, cookware, mattresses, blankets, clothes and basic hygiene products
South Africa

Three Issues to be aware of caused by the KZN flash floods

Press Release 13 May 2022
MSF, Doctors Without Borders, eThekwini Floods

"I thought the house might go over sideways but it started sinking down." - Nozipho Sithole, flash floods survivor

Patient and Staff Stories 29 Apr 2022
MSF, Doctors Without Borders, eThekwini, KZN floods
Natural Disasters

Flash floods survivors are thirsty, traumatized and exposed to disease

Latest News 29 Apr 2022
MSF, Doctors Without Borders, KZN, eThekwini floods

Thousands with difficult access to water after KwaZulu-Natal’s devastating flash floods

Press Release 22 Apr 2022
In Eshowe in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province, MSF assisted the department of health with establishing help desks outside clinics - triage points where all who wish to enter are screened using a screening tool, and possible COVID-19 patients are then referred to a separate tent for testing.
COVID-19 (coronavirus disease)

MSF urges governments to reject the draft COVID-19 text at WTO

Press Release 1 Apr 2022
MSF, Doctors Without Borders, International Migrants Day

8 things everyone should know about the harsh journeys that migrants undertake to South Africa

Latest News 29 Mar 2022