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

South Africa

In South Africa, we respond to disease epidemics, such as HIV and tuberculosis, and assist migrants with access to healthcare.

In October 2023, in partnership with the Eastern Cape Department of Health, we launched a project to improve the identification and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Amathole District, which is MSF's first NCDs project in South Africa. We aim to apply lessons from two decades of working on HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa to enhance NCD care in rural settings.

After 12 years of operations, we closed our HIV/TB project in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal province. The project’s community-oriented approach helped to increase the integrated management of HIV, TB, diabetes and hypertension through nine community-based ‘Luyanda’ sites, which were successfully handed over to the DoH. Many achievements were made in the task-shifting of TB health promotion activities to teachers in schools, and we shared valuable feedback with the DoH on the decentralisation of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (DRTB) services to the primary healthcare level.

Our activities in 2022 in South Africa

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2022.

MSF activities in South Africa in 2022 MSF launched a major response when floods hit South Africa in 2022. We also maintained our HIV and tuberculosis (TB) programmes and migrant health projects.
MSF_South_Africa_IAR_Map_2022

After 12 years of operations, we closed our HIV/TB project in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal province. The project’s community-oriented approach helped to increase the integrated management of HIV, TB, diabetes and hypertension through nine community-based ‘Luyanda’ sites, which were successfully handed over to the DoH. Many achievements were made in the task-shifting of TB health promotion activities to teachers in schools, and we shared valuable feedback with the DoH on the decentralisation of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (DRTB) services to the primary healthcare level.

Flash flooding in parts of KwaZulu-Natal province in April 2021 caused hundreds of deaths, displaced over 40,000 people and severely damaged infrastructure, including water and sanitation services. MSF launched a substantial emergency response comprising medical teams and water, sanitation and hygiene experts. We supported mobile clinics in affected communities with medical staff and provided water storage and sanitation in shelters for displaced people. In addition, our geohydrologists implemented innovative techniques for improving water yield and quality from strategically drilled boreholes.

In September 2022, after 22 years, our teams working on HIV/AIDS and drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in Khayelitsha handed all remaining activities over to authorities. We launched the project in the context of HIV/AIDS denialism at the highest levels of government, starting by working to improve methods to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the disease, and were soon allowed to expand our involvement to HIV treatment for people of all ages, as well as operational research. One of the project’s standout achievements was the integration of HIV and TB services in clinics. It also contributed to the improvement of DR-TB treatment and care by demonstrating that it is possible to substitute toxic injectable antibiotics with newer and more effective oral drugs.

At the end of 2023, we handed over our Tshwane Migrant Project to authorities and a local Community-Based Organisation after building the capacity to work with undocumented populations. The project provided access to medical care for undocumented people and migrants and actively advocated for continued access.

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