MSF Report Highlights Successful Decentralized Health Care Model in Swaziland
A report (.pdf) from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) shows how the group is training nurses to take on doctors' roles and providing community leaders with basic medical training to fight HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Swaziland, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (Zulu, 11/17). The fight against both diseases in Swaziland "is hindered by an acute shortage of local health staff, inadequate diagnostic facilities and by patients failing to complete their treatment, often because of the prohibitive cost of making long and frequent journeys to distant health facilities," according to a press release from the organization. "In November 2007, MSF and the Ministry of Health introduced a decentralised, integrated and patient-centred approach to fight the co-epidemic in Shiselweni, the country's poorest and most remote region. As a result, innovative 'one-stop services' for HIV and TB care are today available in 21 health facilities. The number of people tested for HIV each month has more than tripled in 18 months, reaching 1,617 in June 2010," the release states (11/18).