© Luca Sola


Mozambique is still suffering the after-effects of the civil war that ended in 1992

The discovery of gas fields off Mozambique's coast in 2011 is set to transform the economy of one of Africa's poorest nations.

But despite recent economic growth, more than half of Mozambique's 28 million people continue to live below the poverty line.

In 2015, the country declared itself free of landmines - a legacy of the civil war.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has worked in the country since 1984, responding to the civil war and its after-effects, and epidemic diseases.

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MSF's work in Mozambique: 2018

Over 13 per cent of people aged 15-49 in Mozambique are living with HIV – an estimated 2.1 million individuals – and 34,000 of them are co-infected with tuberculosis (TB).*

Mozambique is one of the countries with the highest rates of HIV and TB worldwide.

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In 2018, Médecins Sans Frontières teams in Maputo and Beira focused on improving the detection and rapid treatment of opportunistic infections among people with advanced HIV, by implementing a specialised package of care and support for people facing the challenge of staying on lifelong treatment or those developing drug resistance.

In Maputo, an MSF feasibility study into the use of liposomal doxorubicin to treat Kaposi’s sarcoma, the most frequent cancer affecting people with advanced HIV, showed better outcomes than other available treatments. We treated over 240 patients with this newer drug in 2018 and started advocating to push down the price and get the national treatment guidelines updated.

We started 160 people on treatment for drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in six health centres in Maputo in 2018; 70 per cent of those patients received less toxic, injectionfree treatments. Preliminary positive results from an MSF feasibility study into DR-TB short regimens enabled the Ministry of Health to adopt them as national policy in June. 

We partnered with a local organisation to open a drop-in centre for people who use drugs in Maputo. The centre, which offers testing and treatment for HIV, TB and hepatitis C, and comprehensive harm reduction services, including a needles and syringes distribution programme, received around 100 visitors a day. 


We also launched a pilot project to prevent mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B in one of the biggest hospitals in Maputo.

In Beira, as part of our project for key populations, teams offered sexual and reproductive healthcare, including HIV testing and treatment, to vulnerable and stigmatised groups such as sex workers and men who have sex with men. Around 300 people were enrolled in a pre-exposure prophylaxis study to prevent them from contracting HIV.

We also ran sexual and reproductive health services for girls and women at a local health centre, where we offer safe abortion care to reduce high mortality rates and suffering seen among women and girls without access to such services.

In 2018, we handed over our HIV project in Tete to the Ministry of Health. For 16 years, our teams in Tete had been working on innovative approaches to scale up HIV care, including community antiretroviral (ARV) treatment groups and a community initiative to monitor and address supply issues around HIV and TB drugs.

*WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2018

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