The newly formed Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Yemen Emergency Pool (YEP) has conducted a visit to Al Bayda governorate to provide medical consultations as well as non-food items to internally displaced people (IDPs) fleeing the conflict which has been affecting the area for months.
Having previously donated dressing kits to health units in the governorate, MSF’s YEP team visited Al-Bayda in late November to provide support to medical staff as well as more dressing materials. In Al-Quraishia and Wild Rabea districts the team provided first aid for injured people and medical consultations for IDPs who had mainly fled their villages to the mountains before seeking refuge in other villages in the district. The displaced populations have been supported by local communities, and MSF was able to provide some additional assistance.
“We supported around 100 IDPs with non-food items—mattresses, blankets, hygiene items, jerry cans, and cooking items—and an MSF doctor provided general medical consultations,” said Moeen Mahmoud, YEP manager.
“Most of the IDPs were children and women,” said YEP doctor Abdulla Ba-Sharaheel. “The children were mostly suffering from diarrhea and upper respiratory infections. I checked all the children, one by one, and gave basic medications.”
MSF was, however, unable to reach some health units, like Al-Khobza, which it initially supported but is no longer functioning due to the fighting. Medical staff was forced to flee, leaving the area largely without access to health care.
“We succeeded in treating only some of the injured people in the area,” said Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, an MSF representative in Yemen. “Access to them is so difficult, as they don’t go to health units and are very afraid to be targeted. Those who are seriously injured refuse to go to hospitals. We are very concerned about the IDPs and the population for Al-Quraishia and Wild Rabea in general, as what we saw was a population with almost no access to health [care], from basic primary health care to the treatment of injured people. We call upon all parties to guarantee free and unimpeded access to health structures.”
MSF has been working in Yemen since 1986 and provides health activities in Sana’a, Amran, Aden, and Al-Dhale’ governorates. The Yemen Emergency Pool, which started its activities in 2014, is intended to provide quick response to emergencies in different parts of the country.