Russian Federation

We are working with TB patients in Chechnya, and with refugees in Moscow

The vast territory of the Russian Federation spreads from eastern Europe right across the north of Asia to the edge of the Americas – it is the largest country on earth.

Map of MSF's activities in the Russian Federation, 2015It is also one of the most populous, with 142.4 million people.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) first started work in the Russian Federation in 1992.

Until recently, we had only worked in Chechnya, a war-torn region of the Caucuses, but we are now working to provide care for migrants in Moscow.  

  • {{ fact.node.field_facts }} {{ fact.node.field_facts_units }}
    {{ fact.node.field_post_fact }}

    {{ fact.node.field_facts_explanation }}

Patient story

Khadija, 32 years old, from Grozny, is being treated for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB).

“Around July, I started coughing. It happened to be Ramadan and I was fasting. My mother was very worried. My brother had been ill and so we already had an understanding of what TB was. She told me that I should stop fasting as it lowers your immunity and I would end up getting ill like my brother. When the month ended my cough had got worse and I went to see a doctor about it.

"I teach English at a school and I lost my voice completely. I live 10 minutes’ walk away from my work and one day I had to phone up my husband to ask him to come and drive me home. I didn’t have the strength to walk those 10 minutes. As soon as I started treatment I started suffering from unpleasant side effects – dizziness and nausea – but now it’s getting better. The sheer number of pills I have to take makes me very depressed. I don’t have severe side effects but when I see the amount of medication I have to take it makes me really depressed.

"I have to live for my children, because if I’m not there their lives will be very different. It’s not the same if your mother is not beside you. I can advise other patients to have faith and hope, and not to give up; this disease is curable.”

MSF’s work in the Russian Federation: 2015

MSF continues to run tuberculosis (TB), mental health and cardiac care programmes in Chechnya, and provides basic healthcare to marginalised migrants in Moscow.

Drug-resistant TB is a life-threatening issue in Chechnya, the result of years of poor TB diagnosis and interrupted treatment. A comprehensive programme, including diagnosis, treatment and counselling for TB, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), is integrated in health ministry facilities.

MSF handed the management of MDR-TB patients over to the Ministry of Health in July 2015 and is now focusing on the extensively drug-resistant form of the disease

MSF observed that between 10 and 20 percent of XDR-TB patients also suffer from diabetes, and this further complicates the management of the disease. As a result, teams began addressing co-morbidity with regular education sessions and the monitoring of blood sugar levels.

MSF also runs a mental healthcare programme in Grozny and the mountainous districts of Chechnya still affected by violence.

Cardiac care in Chechnya

We continued to support the cardio-resuscitation unit of the Republican Emergency Hospital in Grozny by donating medicines and medical equipment, providing technical advice for case management and organising training in coronarography (an imaging technique to examine the inside of coronary arteries) and angioplasty (a procedure to widen narrowed or obstructed coronary arteries).

A total of 83 patients were treated during the two workshops organised by MSF in 2015.

Healthcare in Moscow

A team offered basic healthcare to migrants from former Soviet Union republics and other countries with limited or no access to medical services and referred them for specialist care in state medical facilities when necessary.

find out more in our international activity report