January 16, 2016, Asansol: West Bengal is vulnerable to infectious diseases outbreaks and is among the top ten states with the highest burden of dengue in India. Fever is among the main reasons for patients seeking health care services in the state. However, integrated management of fevers, especially in places with limited medical staff and infrastructure becomes a challenge. With this in mind, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in collaboration with West Bengal State Health and Family Welfare Samiti set-up a fever management project in the state's Asansol district in November 2015.
The project is focusing on providing free and quality diagnostics, treatment and referral for acute fever-related illnesses including dengue, chikungunya, influenza, malaria, Japanese encephalitis etc. targeting children in the age group of 2 months-14 years who are most vulnerable.
Currently, MSF is operating a daily paediatric fever clinic at the Asansol Health District Hospital. Today, MSF is beginning its medical activities at the Dakhin Dadkha Primary Health Centre in Asansol Ward 24. In the coming weeks it will begin its activities in Raniganj and Barakar as well. These are being supported by a fully equipped laboratory providing ELISA tests for the confirmatory diagnosis of dengue. MSF is also in the process of constructing a 20-bed specialised fever care unit attached to the Asansol District Hospital, and starting mid-2016, it will provide in-patient care to the most severe cases of dengue and other febrile illnesses.
Non-standardized and low quality diagnosis along with poor management of febrile illnesses with possible consequences of late or missed referrals for severe cases can lead to serious complications and even death. Hence, the main objective of the project is to reduce morbidity and mortality due to acute febrile illnesses by ensuring accurate diagnosis, validating Rapid Diagnostic Tests and improving the clinical management of these patients.
Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid in more than 65 countries. MSF observes neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal medical ethics and the right to humanitarian assistance and claims full and unhindered freedom in the exercise of its functions. Members undertake to respect their professional code of ethics and to maintain complete independence from all political, economic, or religious powers.
MSF has worked in India since 1999, providing free-of-charge essential healthcare to people affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, kala-azar and malnutrition. We also respond to natural disasters and other emergencies, provide mental healthcare, and lobby for the development of more effective and cheaper medicines to improve access to treatment for people everywhere. MSF currently runs 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. To support MSF or simply to obtain the latest information on MSF's medical humanitarian work in India and around the world, visit our website www.MSFindia.in.
For more information, please contact:
Pujya Pascal, Advocacy Coordinator: +91 9910944506
DVL Padma Priya, Press Officer: +91 9650061067
 National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme data on dengue situation in India - http://nvbdcp.gov.in/den-cd.html(accessed on January 12,2016)