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© Markel Redondo

Guinea

In 2018, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continued to support the Guinean Ministry of Health to provide care for 12,500 patients on lifelong antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV.

Despite an abundance of mineral wealth, Guinea's people are among the poorest in West Africa.

The country has rich deposits of bauxite, diamonds and gold, but due to political instability and a lack of infrastructure, little of this wealth reaches Guinea's population.

Ruled by strong-arm leaders for much of the time since its independence from France in 1958, Guinea has been seen as a bulwark against instability in neighbouring Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. However it has also been implicated in the conflicts that have ravaged the region.

Along with Sierra Leone and Liberia, Guinea was pushed to the forefront of the world stage in 2014 as the devastating Ebola outbreak spiralled out of control - originating in Guinea itself.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) first began working in the country in 1984.

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MSF's work in Guinea: 2018

In the capital, Conakry, we run testing, treatment and follow-up services for stable HIV patients through eight health centres, and provide specialised care for AIDS patients in a 31-bed unit in Donka hospital. 

In 2018, we started a programme whereby stable patients get drug refills and check-ups every six months rather than monthly, helping to reduce the impact of stigma and improve adherence to treatment. We also helped stock the national pharmacy with ARV drugs when interruptions to the supply put patients in our care in jeopardy. 

In Kouroussa, in the northeast, we continued the rollout of a child health programme initiated in 2017, providing staff and logistical support to the provincial hospital, which serves a population of 315,000. In 2018, over 3,000 under-fives were admitted, more than half of them with severe malaria.

© Martin Zinggl/MSF

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Getting to Foya >

Katy AthersuchCommunications Officer

As part of an ongoing strategy to prevent children from developing complicated diseases and reduce child mortality, in 2018 we focused on the early provision of care at community level. Thanks to 120 specially trained community volunteers, 8,819 children were diagnosed with malaria using rapid tests, and more than 90 per cent were treated directly in the community. The volunteers also measure children’s arms for signs of malnutrition and identify those who need to be referred to the closest health centre – nine of which are supported by MSF.

We vaccinated more than 18,000 children in Kouroussa in response to an outbreak of measles in May, and launched a large-scale preventive vaccination campaign in collaboration with the Guinean health authorities in November following another increase in the number of cases. By 23 December, more than 74,000 children between six months and seven years old had been vaccinated.

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