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MSF in India, 2007
Field Staff: 446
Reason for Intervention:
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In 2007, MSF worked in the states of Kashmir, Manipur, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Bihar, providing basic health care to communities in conflict-ridden areas.
In Kashmir, MSF continues to provide community-based psychosocial support and basic health care to those affected by years of violence, including over 12,000 consultations.
In Manipur, MSF runs integrated basic health care clinics with an emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS. MSF is also studying the extent of mental health needs arising out of the low-intensity conflict and continuing violence and has appointed a mental health officer. In total over 61,000 consultations were conducted.
In October, MSF closed a basic health care project in Assam, as the Ministry of Health was able to cover the needs. A key focus had been to optimize management of falciparum malaria with Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). A total of 58,971 consultations were conducted.
In the heart of India, clashes between Naxalites, the local Maoists rebels, and the Indian government have displaced tens of thousands of people. Caught in the fighting, an estimated 56,000 people have been forced to move to government-run camps in Chhattisgarh. Thousands of others are hiding in the dense forest of southern Chhattisgarh in Naxalite-controlled areas or have taken refuge in settlements for the displaced around villages across the border in Andhra Pradesh.
MSF tries to reach all those who have been isolated by the conflict, providing medical assistance including primary health care and a mobile therapeutic feeding program for moderate and severely malnourished children. MSF works in three camps and has mobile clinics in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Services provided include ante- and post-natal care. A total of 22,700 consultations were conducted.
MSF began an HIV project in Mumbai in 2006, with a specific focus on treating HIV/tuberculosis (TB) co-infected patients and other people excluded from the national health care program. The project offers counseling, treatment for opportunistic infections and antiretroviral treatment (ART) to the transgender community and commercial sex workers. By early 2008, over 530 patients were registered at the clinic, with 259 patients on ART and 23 on second-line treatment. MSF has also started treating multiple drug resistant MDR-TB and currently has 19 MDR-TB patients.
In Bihar, MSF opened a project at the Hajipur referral hospital to tackle the growing problem of visceral Leishmaniasis or kala azar, of which India has 80 per cent of the world’s cases. Ninety per cent of cases are in Bihar. In July, MSF began treating this neglected disease with a simpler, shorter and more effective treatment than the one to which patients had grown resistant. By the end of 2007, MSF had treated 675 patients with kala azar.
During the rainy season, MSF mobile clinics also provided medical and humanitarian assistance to some 30,000 people affected by the floods in three isolated districts of Bihar.
MSF has worked in India since 1999.