India: Projects intensify in disputed border region

In Srinigar, MSF assists the integration of mental health care into the existing healthcare system by training and supervising Ministry of Health staff and volunteers from a local NGO. It is also working to raise awareness and to establish a referral network between outlying villages and Srinigar Psychiatric Hospital for severe or complicated cases. The health of displaced people along the line of control separating Indian and Pakistani Kashmir is of particular concern. MSF was able to gain access to camps around Jammu and Rajouri in June 2002; and is starting a water and sanitation program in Jammu in August 2002. Elsewhere in India, MSF works to improve diagnosis and treatment of malaria and tuberculosis (TB), and to bring primary care to people with limited access to health facilities. In Mumbai, MSF is helping health authorities implement a TB strategy based on DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short-course) in a zone of 1.5 million people. The MSF team medically follows up some 300 patients a month, and works to improve laboratory services and create community support structures for TB patients. In Assam, MSF mobile malaria clinics promote early diagnosis, prompt treatment, education and prevention in Nalbari district. MSF recently gained permission to access camps for displaced people in Kokrajhar. MSF has been in India since 1999.