Médecins Sans Frontières expands medical care for cutaneous leishmaniasis through a satellite clinic in Badhabher, Peshawar – Pakistan

Peshawar: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, has established a satellite clinic at Badhabher Rural Health Center (RHC) to extend medical care for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Peshawar district. The satellite clinic was set up in collaboration with the health department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to reach infected and vulnerable people and increase diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is caused by a parasite transmitted by the bite of an infected female sandfly. The disease appears as a small lesion and, if left untreated, can lead to severe physical disfigurement. It is not life threatening but can expose patients to stigma and discrimination in their community. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is one of the major tropical diseases in Pakistan.

The new satellite clinic is designed to provide treatment to infected people in the outskirts of Peshawar. The RHC Badhabher Clinic will accommodate patients diagnosed at the MSF Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Clinic at the Government Naseerullah Khan Baber Memorial Hospital (GNKBMH).

Treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis requires a daily or bi-weekly injection for three to eight weeks, depending on the severity. In the past, MSF has seen patients not complete their treatment because traveling long hours every day was difficult and expensive for them. The RHC Badhabher satellite clinic allows patients to continue their treatment close to their community. MSF plans to open another satellite clinic in BHU Tellaband later this year. Diagnosis and treatment of CL in MSF facilities is free for patients.

Delphine Convert, MSF project coordinator in Peshawar, says: “The satellite clinics are part of the extended support to the health department to improve community access to free specialized care for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Peshawar district. . The clinics will help counter the burden of rising cases in the district. ”

A team of MSF health promoters will sensitize vulnerable communities on the prevention and treatment of the disease. In 2020, MSF screened 4,988 patients with CL and 3,363 patients started treatment for CL. We treated over 4,900 patients in Pakistan last year, including 1,583 at treatment centers in Peshawar and Bannu.

MSF has been providing diagnostic and treatment facilities for CL at GNKBMH in Peshawar since 2018 and at District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) in Bannu since 2020 in collaboration with the Department of Health, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Facilities at GNKBMH and DHQ Hospital in Bannu include an LC microscopic diagnostic laboratory and a treatment center, where patients receive medical care, dressings and health awareness.

About MSF

Médecins Sans Frontières is an international humanitarian medical association that provides emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF began working in Pakistan in 1986 and now provides urgent quality medical care to people in the provinces of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. MSF works in collaboration with the country’s health authorities and its activities in Pakistan are funded solely by private donations, with no institutional or governmental contribution.

For more information contact:

Zahra Shoukat Communications Officer Contact number: +92 345 344 779 1 E-mail: [email protected]