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June 17, 2013

The Indian government must urgently address the almost routine delays in procuring drugs to treat tuberculosis (TB), international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.

March 13, 2013

Pressure is mounting on India to quickly sign off on a free trade agreement which still contains provisions that will harm people’s access to medicines in India and across the developing world, the Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned today. Representatives of the groups protested today outside the European Commission India headquarters in Delhi, demanding the harmful provisions be removed.

The landmark decision by the High Court in Chennai, India, to uphold India's Patents Act in the face of the challenge by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis is a major victory for patients' access to affordable medicines in developing countries.

Case will negatively impact access to medicines for millions across the world

Company would effectively be shutting down the "pharmacy of the developing world"

Recent floods in South Asia have devastated parts of northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Millions of people have been affected and hundreds of thousands displaced. In a number of areas, the monsoon rains are said to be the worst in years. Authorities and local aid organisations have been working hard to cover most of the current needs in the affected areas by running clinics, distributing basic relief items and getting ready for potential outbreaks. Considering this strong local response, MSF teams in Bangladesh, India and Nepal are now in an assessment stage.

Two Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have already started providing medical care to the victims of the floods in the northeastern Indian state of Bihar. MSF has also started the first emergency relief distributions in various locations, including camps for the displaced, and is conducting assessments in the districts of Araria (the most affected area), Supaul, Purnia and Madhepura.

An interview with Dr. Binod Kumar who has been working on the MSF kala azar project in Hajipur since April 2008, and was among the first MSF teams to provide medical assistance to victims of the floods in Bihar.

After major floods, health problems like diarrhea, respiratory infections and skin problems are common. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams provide primary healthcare and distribute basic items to limit people’s exposure to cold, rain and contaminated water.  Floods caused widespread destruction in Bihar state, India, after the Kosi River broke its banks in Nepal in late August. Water flowed into a channel it had abandoned more than 100 years ago and flooded districts in Nepal and Bihar.

Nearly two months after Cyclone Aila devastated East India and the coast of Bangladesh, the plight of survivors is no longer headline news. However daily flooding is making their recovery almost impossible. In North 24 Parganas, one of the worse affected areas in the state of West Bengal, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing humanitarian assistance in remote villages.

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