June 04, 2009

Since May 5, fighting has occurred nearly every day in Razeh, northern Yemen. For now, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been able to continue working at the city hospital and has treated 41 war-wounded since that date. Most are civilians—22 men, nine women and six children—and six of them were referred to regional hospitals after being stabilized by MSF teams. At the same time, the hospital’s typical activities—emergency room, hospitalization, mother-and-child health, and nutrition—have slowed daily because nearby fighting has limited patient access to the facility.

Security conditions have worsened considerably. Since early May, several incidents—in particular, stray bullets that have reached the hospital and shells that have fallen close to the facility and the house where MSF staff live—have also posed risks for the medical staff. However, a smaller team, including our expatriate project coordinator, remain at the hospital.

There is no fighting in the Al Tahl region, where Yemeni and international MSF employees working in the hospital remain on site, supported by a surgical team.

MSF has worked in the Saada governate in northern Yemen since September 2007, providing medical care to the population affected by the conflict between government forces and Al Houthi rebels that began in 2004. MSF operates two projects in the Razeh and Al Tahl hospitals and provides medical support, including primary care and hospital referrals, in several outlying towns.

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