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  • Healthcare exclusion

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This is an extract from our latest Activity Report, looking back on our work in the previous year.


Authorities in Iran have been improving social and medical services in the capital Tehran, but many people living in the poorest neighbourhoods remain unable to access them.

In April, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) opened a health centre for women and children under five years of age in Darvazeh Ghar, a district where many do not have the identity papers they need to use the country’s healthcare system.

Social stigma is another obstacle to accessing healthcare. Drug users, women with sexually transmitted diseases and newborns who are suffering withdrawal symptoms because their mothers were drug users are often not welcome in medical centres.

Many are particularly susceptible to HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis, diseases which pose a serious public health concern.

Since the health centre opened, staff have been seeing around 1,000 patients per month. The team offers general medical and gynaecological consultations, as well as ante- and postnatal care. Patients requiring emergency treatment are referred to the Ministry of Health hospital.

At the end of 2012, MSF had 84 staff in Iran. MSF has worked in the country since 1996.

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