Key medical figures:
• 6,100 individual and group mental health consultations
• 430 patients under treatment for TB
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is working with Russian health authorities to address tuberculosis (TB) and drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in Chechnya.
Years of conflict in the North Caucasus have left gaps in many areas of the health system, resulting in a resurgence of TB, especially DR-TB. Poor diagnosis, interrupted treatment and the questionable quality of the TB drugs available on the open market are some of the factors contributing to high drug-resistance levels. In 2013, MSF, together with the Chechen Ministry of Health, continued to implement a comprehensive TB diagnosis and treatment programme for patients with both TB and DR-TB. The programme promotes a patient-centred approach, and as the treatment is arduous and the management of side effects an importantcomponent, MSF health educators and adherence counsellors provide psychosocial support to all TB patients and their families.
Expanding cardiac care
There is a high rate of heart disease in Chechnya, but the scale and quality of medical services do not meet the needs of those with acute coronary syndromes and other cardiovascular emergencies. In Grozny, Chechnya’s capital, MSF is improving the cardiac unit in the Republican Emergency Hospital through staff training and the purchase of medical equipment and medicines for specialised treatment. During 2013, the team conducted further training on fibrinolysis (the breakdown of fibrin, or clots) and improved laboratory procedures, as well as the quality of consultations pre- and post-admission.
Providing mental health support
An MSF team continued to offer counselling to patients in Grozny and communities in the mountainous districts of Chechnya, who are still experiencing the psychological effects of exposure to violence and death.
No. staff end 2013: 153 | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1992