India: Kashmir unrest one-month update - MSF donates external fixators for trauma victims, continues psychological first aid

In the month since a new wave of unrest began in Kashmir, MSF teams have suspended their regular mental health activities in order to support health facilities treating wounded. In order to determine medical needs in the immediate aftermath of the violent outbreak, our teams re-established regular contact with 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 centre.

Despite an ongoing curfew and impromptu roadblocks, our 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 these institutions. In addition, our teams have donated more than two tonnes of medical materials to other health facilities, including external fixators to help victims of trauma recover.

MSF will maintain these communication lines with local medical providers and continue monitoring the general healthcare situation. If necessary, we are prepared to provide additional emergency medical assistance, mobilising resources from outside the Kashmir region as appropriate.

MSF has worked in India since 1999 providing free-of-charge essential healthcare 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. We currently run 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.