It has been one year since Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started providing life-saving health services at the general rural hospital of Thi As Sufal district in Ibb governorate, Yemen.
The general rural hospital of Thi As Sufal, locally known as Al-Kaida Hospital, is one of the numerous health facilities in Yemen to have been financially crippled by the war that started in March 2015. The hospital is located in an area that is home to nearly 500,000 people in addition to the internally displaced people who fled the active frontline just 20 kilometres away in Taiz governorate. In this hospital, MSF receives patients from both Ibb and Taiz governorates and provides an average of 250 emergency consultations each week.
“Since the beginning of the war, medical needs in the country have exploded,” says Satoru Ida, MSF head of mission in Yemen. “In response, MSF has increased its assistance to those who have difficulty accessing emergency and basic medical care. Our new project in Thi As Sufal district is part of this expansion. Our aim is to ensure free access to good quality emergency health care, improving the hospital’s mass casualty management and providing lifesaving surgery as well as hospitalisation for the most severe medical conditions. ”
At this hospital, MSF is running a 54-bed inpatient department with an intensive care unit for children and adults, as well as providing life-saving surgery such as trauma cases and caesarean sections. In a little more than ten months, MSF has treated 6,081 patients in the emergency room, performed 2,117 surgical interventions and admitted 1,498 patients to the hospital. The cases in the emergency and operating rooms have increased by one and a half and five respectively since the project was opened.
“The hospital was providing very limited services as it lacked specialised medical staff to operate the medical equipment in the hospital,” says Dr Sameer Al-Ariqi, the hospital’s Ministry of Health General Manager. “MSF started working in the operating theatre and emergency room providing life-saving health services as well as the necessary medications and medical supplies.”
MSF now ensures the presence of specialised staff such as general and orthopaedic surgeons and anaesthetists at the hospital.
In addition to its work in the general rural hospital, MSF is providing life-saving services in the emergency room at Al-Thawra Hospital in the main city of Ibb.
In Yemen, MSF works in Ibb, Taiz, Sa’ada, Hajja, Amran, Aden, Al-Dhale’ and Sana’a governorates. All medical care provided by MSF is free of charge and accessible to all without discrimination. MSF treats patients irrespective of their religious, tribal, political or other affiliations. More than 50,000 patients – war-wounded and victims of violence – have been treated in MSF-run or supported hospitals across Yemen since March 2015.