An XDR-TB patient looking at her boxes of TB medication in Mumbai, India
India is a country of vast size and inequality, with considerable disparity in the level of medical treatment available, depending on a person’s income and where they live.

Doctors Without Borders(MSF) works to fill some of the gaps in services for the most marginalised 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 counselling services and digital health promotion activities to guarantee continuity of care.

Treatment for infectious diseases

In our HIV centres in Manipur, we implement a model of care that is tailored to patients’ needs. We also support the antiretroviral treatment centre 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 paediatric 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.

A MSF staff member listening to the protocols being explained wearing PPE
MSF in India in 2020

Medical staff with PPE

One of the main priorities for MSF is the safety of health workers, and that is why all the staff must follow strict protocols in terms of safety and security.
Captured: A medical staff listening to the protocols being explained.

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 children with severe acute malnutrition discharged from the programme.

No. staff in 2020: 682 (FTE) » Expenditure in 2020: €15.1 million MSF first worked in the country: 1999

 
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