August 09, 2016

In the month since a new wave of unrest began in Kashmir, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have suspended their regular mental health activities in order to support health facilities treating the wounded.

In the immediate aftermath of the violent outbreak, MSF teams re-established regular contact with the Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Bemina, SKIMS Soura, Bone and Joints Hospital, Institute of Mental Health And Neuro-Sciences Psychiatric Hospital, Pulwama District Hospital, Baramulla District Hospital, Sopore Sub District Hospital, Pattan Sub District Hospital, Bandipora District Hospital, and Kulgam Primary Health Center to determine the scope of medical needs.

Despite the ongoing curfew and impromptu roadblocks, MSF teams have managed to provide psychological first-aid to support and enhance the coping mechanisms of victims of trauma at the Bone and Joints Hospital (Srinagar), SKIMS Soura, and SHMS Hospital, in line with the particular support requested by those institutions. In addition, MSF donated more than two tons of medical materials to various other health facilities, including external fixators to help in the recovery of victims of trauma as well.

MSF will maintain communication lines with local medical providers and continue monitoring the general health care situation.If necessary, MSF is prepared to provide additional emergency medical assistance, mobilizing resources from outside the Kashmir region as appropriate.

MSF has worked in India since 1999, providing free-of-charge essential health care to people in remote areas and specialist care for people affected by HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, acute febrile illnesses, tuberculosis, kala azar, and sexual and gender-based violence. MSF currently runs projects in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Telangana, and West Bengal.

MSF was awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development in 1996 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.

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