Posts tagged un

Safe Delivery: Reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and BurundiEnsuring pregnant women have timely access to emergency obstetric care has reduced maternal deaths by as much as 74 percent in parts of two African countries 
The comprehensive emergency obstetric services at MSF hospitals in Bo and Kabezi is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All services are free of charge. The total annual operating costs of the programs are equivalent to just under two dollars per person in Bo and $4.15 per person in Kabezi.
MSF’s data indicate that maternal mortality in Burundi’s Kabezi district has fallen to 208 per 100,000 live births, compared to a national average of 800 per 100,000 live births, a 74 percent decrease. In Sierra Leone, MSF figures for the same year indicate that maternal mortality in Bo district has decreased to 351 per 100,000 live births, compared to 890 per 100,000 in the rest of the country, a 61 percent reduction. MSF is the only emergency obstetric care provider in Kabezi and Bo.
Sierra Leone and Burundi both suffer from extremely high maternal mortality rates due to lack of access to quality antenatal and obstetric care, which are linked to shortages of qualified health staff, a lack of medical facilities, and health systems that have been shattered by years of civil war.
“Giving birth in Sierra Leone is often a life-threatening endeavor for many women,” said Betty Raney, an obstetrician with MSF in Sierra Leone. “In my 25 years as an obstetrician, I have never seen such a level of severity among the patients. Had they not had any access to care, many of them would die.”
Using the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing maternal mortality by 75 percent by 2015 as a point of reference, MSF’s estimates indicate that the maternal mortality ratio in Kabezi is already below the MDG level. MSF is confident that the mortality ratio will have dropped by 75 percent in Bo by 2015.

Safe Delivery: Reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi
Ensuring pregnant women have timely access to emergency obstetric care has reduced maternal deaths by as much as 74 percent in parts of two African countries 

The comprehensive emergency obstetric services at MSF hospitals in Bo and Kabezi is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All services are free of charge. The total annual operating costs of the programs are equivalent to just under two dollars per person in Bo and $4.15 per person in Kabezi.

MSF’s data indicate that maternal mortality in Burundi’s Kabezi district has fallen to 208 per 100,000 live births, compared to a national average of 800 per 100,000 live births, a 74 percent decrease. In Sierra Leone, MSF figures for the same year indicate that maternal mortality in Bo district has decreased to 351 per 100,000 live births, compared to 890 per 100,000 in the rest of the country, a 61 percent reduction. MSF is the only emergency obstetric care provider in Kabezi and Bo.

Sierra Leone and Burundi both suffer from extremely high maternal mortality rates due to lack of access to quality antenatal and obstetric care, which are linked to shortages of qualified health staff, a lack of medical facilities, and health systems that have been shattered by years of civil war.

“Giving birth in Sierra Leone is often a life-threatening endeavor for many women,” said Betty Raney, an obstetrician with MSF in Sierra Leone. “In my 25 years as an obstetrician, I have never seen such a level of severity among the patients. Had they not had any access to care, many of them would die.”

Using the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing maternal mortality by 75 percent by 2015 as a point of reference, MSF’s estimates indicate that the maternal mortality ratio in Kabezi is already below the MDG level. MSF is confident that the mortality ratio will have dropped by 75 percent in Bo by 2015.

Photo: Young MDR-TB patients in Blue House, a facility in Nairobi where MSF treats TB and HIV. Kenya 2011 © Yann Libessart
New MSF Multinational Study of Pediatric TB/HIV Co-Infection Confirms Crisis of Undiagnosed TB Among Children
Data from the largest-ever multinational cohort of children infected with both tuberculosis (TB) and HIV, released by MSF, definitively shows that there is an urgent need for better TB tests for children. The standard TB test fails to detect the disease in children 93% of the time. 
“When you’re only detecting TB in one out of ten children, you can be sure that many are falling through the cracks simply because they’re not being diagnosed, resulting in unnecessary deaths and the disease spreading to others,” said Dr. Philipp du Cros, head of MSF’s medical department in London. “Most revealing of this sad reality is that until just last month, there was little data on the global burden of pediatric TB.”
One of the main barriers to developing a TB test that works in children has been the lack of a gold standard to assess performance of new diagnostic tools. In a process led by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), a consensus on clinical case definition and methodological approaches to apply in the evaluation of new TB diagnostic tests in children was developed. This consensus should open the way for academic groups and test developers to work towards better TB tests for kids.
“What we need to see now is test developers showing that children are a priority, and that will mean developing tests that respond to their needs,” said Dr. Grania Brigden, TB Advisor for MSF’s Access Campaign. “We need to move away from having to put children through excruciating procedures to get lab specimens that in the end don’t provide us with a diagnosis.” 

Photo: Young MDR-TB patients in Blue House, a facility in Nairobi where MSF treats TB and HIV. Kenya 2011 © Yann Libessart

New MSF Multinational Study of Pediatric TB/HIV Co-Infection Confirms Crisis of Undiagnosed TB Among Children


Data from the largest-ever multinational cohort of children infected with both tuberculosis (TB) and HIV, released by MSF, definitively shows that there is an urgent need for better TB tests for children. The standard TB test fails to detect the disease in children 93% of the time. 

“When you’re only detecting TB in one out of ten children, you can be sure that many are falling through the cracks simply because they’re not being diagnosed, resulting in unnecessary deaths and the disease spreading to others,” said Dr. Philipp du Cros, head of MSF’s medical department in London. “Most revealing of this sad reality is that until just last month, there was little data on the global burden of pediatric TB.”

One of the main barriers to developing a TB test that works in children has been the lack of a gold standard to assess performance of new diagnostic tools. In a process led by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), a consensus on clinical case definition and methodological approaches to apply in the evaluation of new TB diagnostic tests in children was developed. This consensus should open the way for academic groups and test developers to work towards better TB tests for kids.

“What we need to see now is test developers showing that children are a priority, and that will mean developing tests that respond to their needs,” said Dr. Grania Brigden, TB Advisor for MSF’s Access Campaign. “We need to move away from having to put children through excruciating procedures to get lab specimens that in the end don’t provide us with a diagnosis.” 

The decision that will be made at the UN meeting in New York will determine the fate of the …[“many … people” ] that still lack access to treatment. Leaders need to take bold and decisive action. … they need actually to stick to their commitment they made several years ago, which was to provide universal access to all people who dare to test for HIV and are requesting treatment. We are halfway now and I don’t understand how suddenly the political commitment is not there anymore.
Eric Goemere, an MSF doctor in Khayelitsha, South Africa
Now we know that when people are on ARVs, the antiretrovirals that are used to treat HIV, we can also reduce new infections. So, in this sense, it is an absolute game-changer in terms of mounting a credible AIDS response.
Sharonann Lynch, HIV/AIDS Policy Advisor for MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines
The biggest question to governments meeting at the UN AIDS summit is: Now that we know that HIV treatment is also HIV prevention, will you take the necessary steps to prevent millions of needless deaths, but also prevent millions of needless infections?
Sharonann Lynch, HIV/AIDS Policy Advisor for MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines.

MSF Frontline Reports podcast, Ep. 91: HIV Treatment is Also HIV Prevention

New research has proved conclusively that treatment of HIV can reduce the transmission of the disease from one person to another by 96 percent. In other words, HIV treatment is also HIV prevention. The UN Summit on HIV/AIDS starts on June 8 and officials will decide on a blueprint for the next decade of the global response to the epidemic. Will global leaders act now to save millions of lives and prevent millions of new infections?

Our staff heads out the door early to get the rally at the UN Summit on AIDS started at Bryant Park.

We’re asking world leaders at the summit to put 9 million people on treatment to turn the tide on AIDS and #StopTheVirus. (Learn more here.)

Follow us on Twitter at @MSF_USA and #StopTheVirus for updates from the march.

Our staff heads out the door early to get the rally at the UN Summit on AIDS started at Bryant Park.

We’re asking world leaders at the summit to put 9 million people on treatment to turn the tide on AIDS and #StopTheVirus. (Learn more here.)

Follow us on Twitter at @MSF_USA and #StopTheVirus for updates from the march.

We’re ready with signs and banners (and sunscreen!) for the #StopTheVirus rally today at the UN Summit on AIDS. 

At a time when HIV treatment has been proven to dramatically reduce HIV transmission by 96 percent, governments meeting at the UN Summit on AIDS must agree today to put nine million people on treatment over the next four years to break the back of the epidemic.

If you’re in NYC, you can join us at 12:30pm ET, we’re meeting at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 47th Street and 2nd Ave.  And if you’re not, there are lots of ways to take action online here: http://on.fb.me/kUsJkG

We’re ready with signs and banners (and sunscreen!) for the #StopTheVirus rally today at the UN Summit on AIDS.

At a time when HIV treatment has been proven to dramatically reduce HIV transmission by 96 percent, governments meeting at the UN Summit on AIDS must agree today to put nine million people on treatment over the next four years to break the back of the epidemic.

If you’re in NYC, you can join us at 12:30pm ET, we’re meeting at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 47th Street and 2nd Ave. And if you’re not, there are lots of ways to take action online here: http://on.fb.me/kUsJkG

Catherine Atieno lives and works in Kibera, a deprived area of Kenya’s capital Nairobi. She, along with Charles Sako and Siama Musine, is HIV positive and receives treatment through MSF’s clinic in Kibera. Six years ago, they were all given disposable cameras for a week to document their lives on HIV treatment. From those photos, we created a project called 'My Life with HIV'

Now, ahead of a UN Summit on HIV/AIDS this week in New York, we’ve been back to visit them and to hear how their lives have moved on. The latest scientific research shows that treating people with HIV/AIDS not only saves lives but also can prevent the virus from spreading. The full, busy and vibrant lives you’ll see portrayed here are the living proof of the benefits HIV treatment has brought to individuals, their families and wider communities.

Charles Sako lives and works in Kibera, a deprived area of Kenya’s capital Nairobi. He, along with Catherine Atieno and Siama Musine, is HIV positive and receives treatment through MSF’s clinic in Kibera. Six years ago, they were all given disposable cameras for a week to document their lives on HIV treatment. From those photos, we created a project called 'My Life with HIV'

Now, ahead of a UN Summit on HIV/AIDS this week in New York, we’ve been back to visit them and to hear how their lives have moved on. The latest scientific research shows that treating people with HIV/AIDS not only saves lives but also can prevent the virus from spreading. The full, busy and vibrant lives you’ll see portrayed here are the living proof of the benefits HIV treatment has brought to individuals, their families and wider communities.

New scientific evidence shows that treating people with HIV not only fights their own illness but also stops the HIV virus spreading – in fact, the evidence is that people on antiretroviral treatment are 90% less infectious than those not on treatment. This opens up a whole new world where we not only treat the individual with ARVs but we can aim to reduce new infections at the community level too.

Dr. Isabelle Andrieux-Meyer,HIV advisor, MSF Access Campaign

MSF is calling on world leaders to massively scale up HIV treatment at next weeks UN Summit on AIDS.
Learn more.

Antiretroviral drugs have changed my life from negative to positive. I frequently used to get sick, and lost a lot of weight. Without these drugs I would not be on this planet. I have not had a single major health problem since I started taking them. They have saved my life.

Luis Júnior Mariquele, Mozambique

MSF is calling on world leaders to massively scale up HIV treatment at next weeks UN Summit on AIDS.
Learn more.

Join us in the streets of New York City to demand that World Leaders keep their promise to treat AIDS and stop the virus. 

June 8th is the first day of the United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS. World Leaders will gather to announce their commitments to fight global AIDS.

Hanging in the balance will be the lives of the 10 million people who urgently need treatment, at a time when the latest science tells us that treating HIV not only saves lives, but also dramatically reduces—by 96 percent—transmission of the virus from one person to another. More info here.

Join us in the streets of New York City to demand that World Leaders keep their promise to treat AIDS and stop the virus.

June 8th is the first day of the United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS. World Leaders will gather to announce their commitments to fight global AIDS.

Hanging in the balance will be the lives of the 10 million people who urgently need treatment, at a time when the latest science tells us that treating HIV not only saves lives, but also dramatically reduces—by 96 percent—transmission of the virus from one person to another. More info here.

Today: UN Donor Conference: Haitians Must Have Continued Access to Medical Care

While the majority of the Haitian population is still extremely vulnerable, the UN donor conference to be held in New York on March 31st must not take measures that would limit the access to health care of the population, says international medical organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Since the earthquake on January 12, nearly all public and many private medical structures have offered free of charge health care. Meanwhile plans have been disclosed to progressively reinstate hospital fees as early as mid-April. Continue reading.