Feature story

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

COVID-19 Feature story Eswatini

Eswatini has the highest percentage of people living with HIV in the world. Almost one-thirds of adults are HIV-positive. The country is also severely affected by a tuberculosis (TB) epidemic and around 70% of all TB patients are co-infected with HIV.

Alongside this, the first confirmed patient with COVID-19 was diagnosed in Eswatini on 14 March; since then, the number of patients with COVID-19 has grown daily.


Measles is a steady, silent killer among COVID-19 in DRC, CAR and Chad

Measles continues to silently kill large numbers of mostly children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Chad

While much of the world’s attention is on battling the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now reached many countries in Africa, measles continues to silently kill large numbers of mostly children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad. DRC – which has also been fighting an Ebola epidemic – declared a measles outbreak in June 2019. Chad’s measles outbreak has been raging for two years, since May 2018. CAR declared its measles outbreak in January this year.

Together, the outbreaks have infected hundreds of thousands of children and killed thousands more. Some kids die at home, never having reached proper medical care, or having been seen only by a traditional healer.

Twins Elisabeth and Sophie, were first treated for measles and then for acute malnutrition at the MSF-supported pediatric unit at the Baboua district Hospital.
07 May 2020
Feature story Vaccines Central African RepublicChadDemocratic Republic of the Congo measles

MSF response to coronavirus disease COVID-19 - Iran

MSF response to coronavirus disease COVID-19 - Iran

In Darvazeh Ghar district, MSF runs a clinic offering a comprehensive package of medical services designed for high-risk patients who suffer from stigma and/or need more help to follow their treatment. 

Services include counselling and support from peer workers, psychosocial aid, medical and mental health consultations, ante- and postnatal care, family planning and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.  Patients can also be tested for communicable diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis C.

MSF teams are loading medical equipment including inflatable hospital in Merignac airport on 21 March 2020 to be sent to Ispahan, Iran to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
31 March 2020
Feature story COVID-19 Iran (Islamic Republic of) coronavirus

MSF response to coronavirus disease COVID-19 - Syria

MSF response to coronavirus disease COVID-19 - Syria

Civilian areas have been routinely bombed and deprived of assistance, and access to healthcare remains extremely poor in many areas. We operate in Syria where we can, but ongoing insecurity and access constraints – the Syrian government has not granted MSF authorisation to operate in the country – severely limit our activities and hamper our ability to provide humanitarian assistance that matches the scale of the needs.

MSF distributing tents and NFIs in Al habeet area.
31 March 2020
Feature story COVID-19 Syria coronavirus

MSF response to coronavirus disease COVID-19 - Greece

MSF response to coronavirus disease COVID-19 - Greece

Since the so-called EU-Turkey deal in March 2016, migrants and refugees previously in transit through the Greek islands have been trapped there for an indeterminate time in overcrowded, unsafe and unhygienic conditions, without access to basic services, adequate shelter or information on their legal status.

A general view of the olive grove next to the official camp of Moria. At the moment, 13,000 people stranded in a camp designed to host just 3,000. People in the olive grove have to share their tents with other people with whom, they don’t have any previous relationship. The level of hygiene is very low and people have to share a toilet with another 90 people and a shower with 200. When it rains the tents are getting wet and the area turns into a muddy swamp.
31 March 2020
Feature story COVID-19 Greece coronavirus

MSF response to coronavirus disease COVID-19 - Italy

MSF response to coronavirus disease COVID-19 - Italy

We provide mental healthcare across multiple reception centres in Sicily’s Trapani province, where a team of cultural mediators and psychologists screen asylum seekers for psychological vulnerabilities and provide care to those in need.

For migrants in transit along Italy's borders with France, Switzerland, and Slovenia, we provide medical care, shelter, psychological care, food and other essential items.

In Rome, in collaboration with Italian NGOs Medici Contro la Tortura (Doctors against Torture) and Association for Law Studies on Migration (ASGI), we run a rehabilitation centre for torture survivors.

Survivors are treated using a range of approaches, including medical and psychological care, and physiotherapy.

Nurse Carlotta, who has not worked in Italy for a long time, is now happy to be able to do her part in her country and to see so much solidarity between our doctors and our teams.
30 March 2020
Feature story COVID-19 Italy coronavirus

MSF response to coronavirus disease COVID-19 - Belgium

MSF response to coronavirus disease COVID-19 - Belgium

Together with a number of other organisations, we set up a ‘humanitarian hub’ at the Gare du Nord, near Maximilian Park, in Brussels. Here, our psychologists offer counselling and mental health support as part of a complete package of services for migrants and refugees in transit.

We also offer mental health screening, counselling and psychoeducation to migrants and refugees in three reception centres and a number of individual housing projects in Charleroi and Roeselare.

Cultural briefings and recreational activities are organised to reinforce social networks, and people with symptoms of severe mental health problems are referred to specialist care as appropriate.

Leah Feldman, Project Medical Referent, exchanging with MSF medical staff about suspected Covid-19 case in Humanitarian hub of Brussels.
30 March 2020
Feature story COVID-19 Belgium coronavirus
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