MSF receiving large numbers of patients in Aden, as security situation in Yemen deteriorates

Scores of people have been wounded in fighting in Yemen over recent days, with many treated at the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in the southern city of Aden.

Clashes in Aden have increased after Houthi fighters entered the city this morning. Looting is ongoing amidst the clashes and general chaos. The MSF hospital in the city has so far received 80 injured people today and more are coming.

Between March 19 and 25, MSF’s emergency surgical hospital in Aden received more than 180 patients. Yesterday alone, more than 50 people arrived at the hospital after sustaining wounds during clashes in Lahj. Most had gunshot wounds and required emergency surgery. Between March 24 and 25, 19 people were also admitted to Al-Nasser Hospital in Ad-Dhale', where MSF runs the emergency ward.

MSF is calling on all parties to respect the neutrality of medical facilities.

“Hospitals must remain neutral,” said Dounia Dekhili, MSF program manager for Yemen. “We ask all sides not to enter a hospital with weapons, and to allow the injured unhindered access to medical assistance.”

Since fighting broke out on Thursday March 19 in Aden between forces loyal to President Hadi and elements of the security forces, there has been an upsurge in insecurity in Aden and other parts of southern Yemen, including Ad-Dhale', Lawdar, and Lahj. MSF is also in contact with hospitals in those areas to arrange patient referrals and to provide possible support.

Other parts of Yemen also remain tense, following international airstrikes in the capital Sanaa overnight. MSF is monitoring the situation in Sanaa and is poised to provide assistance. However, with the international airports in Aden and Sanaa closed, MSF is currently unable to deploy additional emergency medical staff to support existing teams on the ground, which are already overloaded.