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Sobhan welfare centre in Aq Qala, Golestan province, where MSF distributed hygiene and cooking kits to 500 families affected by flash floods. Iran. [© MSF]

No. staff in 2019: 86  | Expenditure in 2019: €3.9 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1990 |

Key medical figures:

  • 41,700 outpatient consultations
  • 5,410 individual mental health consultations
  • 180 people started on treatment for hepatitis C

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs programmes to assist refugees, migrants and other vulnerable groups in Iran who face barriers when seeking healthcare, despite government efforts to implement universal health coverage.

Iran officially hosts 950,000 Afghan refugees, although the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, estimates that between 1.5 and 2 million undocumented Afghans also live there. They, and other excluded and marginalised groups, such as drug users (around three per cent of the population), homeless people and the Ghorbati ethnic community, struggle to obtain medical assistance. 

In 2019, our teams continued providing comprehensive care to vulnerable groups at high risk of infectious diseases in South Tehran via a health facility and a mobile clinic. Services here include medical consultations, testing for communicable diseases (HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C), treatment for hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections, specialist referrals, as well as ante- and postnatal care, midwifery and family planning.  A team of peer workers, social workers and psychiatrists offer mental health support. 

We deliver similar services for refugees and host communities in our project in Mashhad, near the Afghan border, via mobile clinics in Esmail Abad and Golsharh. We also run a fixed clinic in Golsharh, where most of the 320,000 Afghans officially living in Mashhad have settled.

Following flash floods affecting several provinces, MSF launched an emergency operation in Lorestan at the end of April. For three months, we ran mobile clinics, where we provided nearly 7,260 consultations in remote villages, and distributed hygiene kits. To mitigate the effects of heat in the summer, we set up evaporative water coolers and installed metal roofs in some of our health posts. We also donated medical material, hygiene kits and cooking sets in Golestan.

COVID-19 Coronavirus

Most of the world's countries have reported cases of coronavirus disease COVID-19 and MSF teams in over 70 countries are now racing to respond to the pandemic.  

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