Health care needs in Yemen remain high after seven years of brutal war. Since 2016, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been providing urgently needed health care services at the General Rural Hospital of Dhi As Sufal in Ibb governorate, near one of the country's front lines.
"The medical need at the district level is great; the Dhi As Sufal area in particular has become home to most of the displaced people fleeing frontlines in both Taiz and Al-Hudaydah governorates,” said Dr. Iman, medical activity manager at the MSF-supported General Rural Hospital in Dhi As Sufal.
"Most cases we are admitting to the intensive care unit are surgical cases due to bullet wounds, accidental cases with chest and abdomen injuries, severe burns, thalassemia [an inherited blood disorder], tetanus, lower respiratory tract infection, and neglected diseases like snakebites and dog bites," said Dr. Adwa'a, the MSF intensive care unit supervisor at the hospital. "Some medical cases arrive late and the teams do everything they can to save their lives, but when you see a patient's smile after getting better this motivates us to do it, knowing the extent of the people's need for such services, especially amid all of these harsh conditions—war, poverty, and weak economic stability.”
In addition to treating adult patients, the hospital has a robust pediatric unit. "The medical needs for newborns are huge in Yemen," said Mohammed, a neonatal nurse at the General Rural Hospital of Dhi As Sufal. "This hospital is located in a remote area and there are no newborn care services available in the area, which is why MSF provides these services to take care of newborns. Often new babies are underweight and suffer from infections that occur during delivery, as well as birth asphyxia.”
Over its five years of operation at the hospital, MSF admitted more than 52,590 patients to the emergency room. Every week, an average of 290 patients arrive in the emergency room, and 85 surgeries are carried out. MSF also provides physiotherapy and mental health care to patients admitted to the hospital. Below are a selection of testimonies from patients and medical staff who faced a variety of medical challenges in harrowing conditions.
Caring for the wounded
Salah, MSF patient at the General Rural Hospital of Dhi As Sufal
Salah, 24 years of age, was in a motorcycle accident. MSF doctors at the General Rural Hospital of Dhi As Sufal treated him and were able to save his leg.