Despite improvements in health services and in the treatment of addictions and stigmatised diseases such as HIV, many people in Iran still have difficulty accessing the care they need.
MSF has been running a health centre in Darvazeh Ghar, one of the poorest areas of Tehran, since 2012. The project aims to reduce the incidence of diseases among vulnerable women and children under the age of 15 by providing access to healthcare for former drug addicts (including children) and their families, pregnant women, sex workers, child labourers and other marginalised people.
MSF provides medical and psychological care, as well as social support, in collaboration with other organisations. In 2015, 6,583 outpatient, 1,899 gynaecological and obstetric and 1,742 mental health consultations were carried out. Special attention is paid to the groups most at risk of sexually transmitted infections and infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis. Rapid diagnostic tests are available and patients can be referred to specialised Ministry of Health centres for treatment. This year, 764 voluntary counselling and testing sessions for HIV were conducted.
The centre has a community-based approach and integrates basic healthcare with health promotion activities, adapted to people’s needs in this area of southern Tehran. Outreach activities include patient follow-up and health education sessions in the community. Peer workers play an essential role in helping MSF communicate with harder-to-reach populations.
No. staff in 2015: 30 | Expenditure: €0.9 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1990 | msf.org/iran