Yemen: "The Situation Has Never Been Worse"


Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff members describe the situation in Yemenwhere more medical supplies and trained health staff are urgently needed as violence escalates.

Anees Dayan, MSF Nurse, Aden Emergency Surgical Unit

April 5, 2015

"We have to be prepared for mass casualties, as we are an Emergency Surgical Unit. We have received many mass casualties since MSF started working here in 2012, but the situation has never been worse. Within two weeks we have received many mass casualties [seven in all, with a total of more than 600 injured].

This huge number of patients was a shock for us, but we were able to control the situation and to act with responsibility and manage things. I was very sad, as we were receiving people from the neighborhood of our hospital and others from my neighborhood, as well as people I know personally. We were receiving all those casualties and at the same time thinking of our families. Things had changed so suddenly and it was very difficult for us.

My home is relatively close to the hospital, so I walk there. I am originally from Abyan and so my family do not have anyone beside me to take care of them. Many of my relatives in Abyan call me and blame me for leaving my family alone while I go out to work, but I cannot be absent from the hospital. I am a nurse and this is what I must do. Of course it’s difficult for me to leave my family for twelve hours, but it’s also difficult for me to not do my job as a nurse in the hospital at times like these.

Voice From the Field: "We Have Been on Lockdown Inside the Hospital"

Liqa, MSF Pharmacist, Aden

April 5, 2015

I have not left the hospital since March 19 when the clashes started. The road is too dangerous for me to use, plus there is no other pharmacist at the hospital, and so I was badly needed there. My assistant at the pharmacy traveled before the clashes and could not return to Aden. The situation in the hospital is tiring. But as health workers we have to stay strong.

We have been able to contain the situation so far, but our concern for our families makes it very stressful for us. Life has stopped in the city, and movement has become extremely dangerous, while some roads have been completely blocked. Our pharmacy stock is starting to run out and we are in desperate need of drugs and medical supplies, as well as the staff that are due to arrive and support us.

I have not seen my family since then. I can only talk to them on the phone. My family has not had access to water for two full days now, and they only get electricity for a few hours. I am very worried about them.

Since the clashes erupted in Aden on the 19th of March between forces loyal to president Hadi and special security forces - a rebel unit loyal to the former president Saleh - the conflict intensified in Aden and other areas in the South of Yemen, including Ad-Dhale', Lawdar and Lahj. MSF emergency surgical unit received more than 600 patients from March 19 until April 5, but it is more and more difficult for wounded to reach the hospital as roads are often blocked and ambulances stopped, attacked and highjacked. Depuis que les combats ont éclaté le jeudi 19 mars à Aden entre les forces fidèles au président Hadi et les forces spéciales de sécurité,une unité rebelle fidèle à l'ancien président Saleh, le conflit s'est intensifié à Aden ainsi que dans d'autres zones du sud du Yémen, y compris à Ad-Dhale', Lawdar et Lahj. L'unité chirurgicale d'urgence de MSF d'Aden a reçu plus de 600 patients entre le 19 mars et le 5 avril, mais les blessés ont de plus de plus de difficultés à atteindre l'hôpital, les routes étant souvent bloquées et les ambulances attaquées, confisquées ou braquées.