This year, MSF focused on reducing HIV transmission and improving access to decentralised care for people with HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in Swaziland.
Swaziland has one of the world’s highest rates of HIV, with nearly one in three adults living with the disease. Estimates suggest that HIV incidence rates have fallen in recent years, as significant progress has been made in improving the number of people receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. In addition, the incidence of drug-sensitive TB has more than halved between 2010 and 2016, as numbers of people with drug-resistant forms of TB have fallen by 20 per cent between 2015 and 2016. However, around 80 per cent of people with TB in Swaziland are HIV positive.
In 2016, MSF continued 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 immediately start treatment. Twelve months after treatment initiation, 82 per cent of people who were on treatment had successfully suppressed the virus . As a result, ‘test and start’ was adopted by the Ministry of Health as the national standard of HIV care in October 2016.
MSF has started treating 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. Almost all of the 81 XDR- and multi drug-resistant (MDR) TB patients had achieved culture conversion after six months (meaning that TB bacteria could no longer be detected in their sputum, and they were on the way to being cured). Most of these patients receive treatment at the national DR-TB referral hospital in Moneni, where MSF is supporting the Ministry of Health to strengthen outpatient care.
Year MSF first worked in the country: 2007.
|Patients on first-line ARV treatment||20,300|
|Patients under treatment for TB||1,300|
|of which for MDR-TB||200|
|No. staff in 2016||446|
|2016 Expenditure||€9.6 million|
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