December 01, 2015

Two cyclones hit the southeast coast of Yemen in early November and did major damage, destroying houses, bridges and other infrastructure in the city of Mukalla, Hadhramaut province, and leaving hundreds of families homeless in the region.

To provide access to health care, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) set up a mobile clinic in Mukalla city, where a doctor and nurse have provided more than 300 medical consultations.

After arriving in Mukalla on November 10, MSF also set up water tanks and transported water by truck for 230 displaced families. On November 20, MSF assisted 170 internally displaced families with food and non-food items, including blankets, jerry cans, kitchen sets, hygiene kits and mosquito nets.

Mokalla, with a population of about 500,000 people, is one of several district affected by the storms. About 50 miles away on the west coast, rains and high winds caused damage and similar needs in the district of Brom-Mayfa. MSF provided 14 water tanks to more than 430 displaced families in the district.

"There is still standing water in districts like Brom-Mayfa," said Hassan Boucenine, MSF head of mission in Yemen. "Many homeless families have taken refuge in schools."

MSF is one of the few aid actors responding to the cyclones. These disasters add to the many medical and humanitarian needs that resulted from the collapse of the Yemeni health system and the violent conflict that has raged in the country since March.

"As in the other provinces, hospitals in the affected areas have severe problems with the supply of drugs and medical equipment," Boucenine said. "For example, the Mokalla blood bank has no reagents to do blood tests and avoid contamination by hepatitis, dengue, malaria and HIV."

MSF works in Yemen in eight other Yemeni provinces and has treated more than 16,000 war wounded since March 19, 2015. 

 

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