MSF works to fill some of the gaps in services for the most marginalized communities, including mental health support in hospitals in four districts of Kashmir. We also treat victims of sexual and gender-based violence in our clinic in New Delhi, where we provide round-the-clock, confidential services for people of all ages. When COVID-19 restrictions were imposed, we switched to phone-based counseling services and digital health promotion activities to guarantee continuity of care.
Treatment for infectious diseases
In our HIV centers in Manipur, we implement a model of care that is tailored to patients’ needs. We also support the antiretroviral treatment center and inpatient management of HIV in a district hospital, and distribute food coupons and dry rations to homeless intravenous drug users.
MSF has been working with the government to increase access to holistic care for HIV patients with life-threatening opportunistic infections. In 2020, in Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, we focused on antimicrobial resistance stewardship to guide the prescribing and use of antibiotics. Palliative care, nutrition, mental health support, and advocacy are also important components of our model of care.
In Mumbai, we continued to offer care for patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), with pediatric care a priority in 2020. The first patients were enrolled in the EndTB clinical trial using the new generation of drugs, aimed at finding shorter, more tolerable, injection-free treatments for multidrug-resistant TB.
Handing over projects
India has the world’s highest rate of childhood malnutrition, and in Jharkhand, one of the worst-affected states, MSF has contributed to shaping the treatment protocol. Although we discontinued our project providing community management of acute malnutrition in early 2020, we continued to follow up with children with severe acute malnutrition discharged from the program.
In 2020, we handed over to the health authorities the general health care services that we had been running via mobile clinics in the conflict-affected border areas of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana states for 14 years.