MSF’s Humanitarian Support in Manipur: From Vaccination Campaigns to Mental Health Aid

Since May 2023, Manipur State has been embroiled in violent clashes, resulting in a humanitarian crisis that has left thousands homeless and in dire need of assistance.  In response, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has intensified its efforts to support the medical and humanitarian needs of the displaced population. Our primary focus is to improve healthcare access and living conditions for those affected in the districts of Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur, Kakching, Churachandpur, and Tengnoupal in Manipur, India.

MSF’s Interventions in Manipur 

Since January 15, 2024, MSF has been actively providing support to displaced people in relief camps, prioritizing areas where healthcare access and support services are most critical.

Access to Essential Medical Aid 

Our targeted interventions in the state include**: 

  • Mobile Clinics: MSF’s mobile team, comprising medical doctors, nurses, and medical staff, has provided over 900 outpatient consultations in the relief camps. 
  • Vaccination Campaign: In collaboration with the State Ministry of Health, our teams conducted vaccination campaigns, reaching 27 relief centers and administering nearly 1,200 doses of vaccines, including vitamin A and measles-rubella (MR) vaccines.   

WatSan (Water and Sanitation) Activities: Our teams are working on addressing the WatSan needs in selected relief camps in both hills and valleys, aiming to provide sanitary living conditions and access to safe drinking water. MSF is also working towards providing essential amenities like handwashing stations, latrine cleaning kits, and waste bins to 17 camps, enhancing the daily hygiene practices of the camp inhabitants. Additionally, our Community Health Educators are conducting outreach sessions at each camp to emphasize the importance of proper handwashing, maintaining clean toilets, and ensuring efficient waste disposal to prevent the spread of diseases.

To further safeguard against drinking water contamination, we’ve installed raised water storage tanks with taps in four camps. In a concerted effort to raise the standards of hygiene and sanitation, we’ve constructed improved bathing areas with adequate drainage in two camps, allowing for private and safe bathing experiences while avoiding the risks associated with standing water. Infrastructure enhancements have also been made, including the construction of advanced drainage systems in one camp to prevent flooding and eliminate standing water, and the installation of new toilets equipped with proper septic tanks and soakaways in two camps, ensuring the safe containment of human waste. Additionally, we’ve addressed the challenge of overflowing septic tanks by conducting desludging operations, crucial for preventing the contamination of the camp areas with human waste.

Mental Health Support

To understand the mental health ramifications of this humanitarian crisis, MSF aimed at mitigating the psychological distress within the affected populations. This involved conducting interviews to grasp the community’s specific needs more accurately, holding multiple psychoeducation sessions on stress management throughout the state, and administering General Health Questionnaires to assess the community’s mental health condition comprehensively. Through these concerted efforts, our teams aim not only to address the immediate psychological distress but also to build lasting mental resilience within communities affected by conflict. 

Providing Support for a Dignified Life 

To ensure dignified living conditions for displaced populations, MSF has distributed essential non-food items (NFIs) such as blankets, sleeping mats, floor mats, and hygiene kits, including soap, washing powder, toothbrush and toothpaste/powder, towels, and sanitary pads across both hills and valley regions. 

MSF in Manipur

MSF has been offering specialized care for HIV and TB in Manipur since 2005 and 2007, respectively. Our clinics in Chakpikarong, and Moreh (on the Indo-Myanmar border) provide free, high-quality screening, diagnosis, and treatment for HIV, TB, hepatitis C, and co-infections. We also support the MoH ART Centres in Churachandpur, District Hospital.  

To address the challenging side effects of DR-TB treatment and ensure patient adherence, MSF offers pre and post-test adherence counseling. 

Our health education teams actively promote awareness regarding testing and treatment. In Churachandpur, we also treat hepatitis C patients (mono-infected) at an opioid substitution therapy center and the partners of co-infected patients. 

In 2021, as part of our commitment to combat COVID-19 across all project locations, our Manipur project also managed a COVID-19 High Dependency Unit with a 12-bed capacity at the Churachandpur District Hospital and a 40-bed capacity High Dependency Unit in Imphal as well. 

**The data has been updated up to March 11, 2024, and will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) MSF is an international, independent medical humanitarian organization. In more than 70 countries, provides medical humanitarian assistance to save lives and ease the suffering of people in crisis situations. 

We provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare. Our teams are made up of tens of thousands of health professionals, logistic and administrative staff – most of them hired locally. Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality. 

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