South Africa

Latest info - November 2017: Responding to pervasive sexual violence in the platinum belt


South Africa has the largest HIV patient cohort in the world and is helping to lead the way in gaining access to new treatments for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

This was a year of political and economic upheaval in South Africa, with the leading political party losing control of several major cities following municipal elections in August. South Africans continued to make strident and often violent demands for better public services and accountable leaders.

KwaZulu-Natal province

The MSF HIV/tuberculosis (TB) project in uThungulu district, which covers a population of 114,000, is still aiming to be the first site in South Africa to meet the ambitious UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. A report, Bending the Curves of the HIV/TB Epidemic in KwaZulu-Natal, outlined the project’s community-oriented approach to increasing integrated HIV testing and TB screening as well as access and adherence to HIV treatment, with the aim of influencing the South African government’s future strategy for meeting 90-90-90 treatment targets nationally.  In 2016, 56,029 individuals were tested, 2370 male circumcisions were supported and 1.5 million condoms were distributed.


The Khayelitsha project near Cape Town continues to develop and implement treatment regimens for MDR-TB and innovative models of care for patients living with HIV and TB.

In 2016, the team focused on developing models of care to support specific at-risk groups, such as pregnant women and their infants, adolescents and men. Thirteen postnatal ‘Moms and Tots’ clubs  were established in partnership with the city of Cape Town and NGO mothers2mothers, enabling women to access one-stop services for HIV and other health issues for both themselves and their babies, thereby improving adherence to treatment.

Throughout 2016, MSF fought for access to new TB drugs for eligible patients, both in Khayelitsha and nationally.  South Africa now has national access to the new TB drug, bedaquiline, and in Khayelitsha, MSF has the largest national cohort on another promising new medication, delamanid, with 61 new patients initiated on treatment this year. MSF also supports the Western Cape Department of Health to offer ‘strengthened treatment’ regimens to drug-resistant TB patients.

Read more about MSF's activities in South Africa in 2016

Year MSF first worked in the country: 1999.

2016 Key figures
Patients on first-line ARV treatment 12,700
Patients under treatment for TB 680
       of which for MDR-TB 210
No. staff in 2016 224
2016 Expenditure €7.6 million




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