Following clashes over recent weeks, the conflict between the army of Yemen and the Al Houthi rebels is intensifying. The ‘sixth war’ in five years in the Saada governorate involves the use of heavy arms and aerial bombardments.
Thousands have fled the fighting and are displaced in the northern part of Saada as well as in the governorates of Hajja, Amran and Al-Jawf. MSF teams have evaluated the needs in the villages of Baqim and Yesnem, in the north of Saada, and are now organising medical aid for the roughly 30,000 people who have sought refuge there.
The difficulties of travelling the main roads hinder access for the population, and especially the injured, to health structures. In addition, MSF has had to temporarily suspend the mobile assistance developed in July in ten health centres in Saada.
The transport of medical materials is also becoming uncertain and raises concerns for stock interruptions in outlying health centres. Upon request from both parties at war, MSF has donated ten medical kits to local health structures, containing medical and surgical materials.
The fighting does not spare the health structures and poses a threat for patients and health staff. MSF maintains contact with all parties in the conflict, to insist on the need for patients to be able to access health structures and to assure the safety of emergency personnel.
In spite of the extremely delicate security situation, MSF medical teams continue to work alongside the Ministry of Health in two rural hospitals in Razeh and Al-Talh. In the latter facility, 63 people have been admitted for emergency medical care, including 36 war wounded, since August 11. Of these, 33 needed surgery.
Between January and July, our teams performed 30,000 consultations in Saada governorate, including 8,000 emergency interventions and 1,450 hospitalisations. MSF has performed 720 surgeries, some 100 of them relating to war injury.