MSF treat victims of fighting in southern Yemen

The increase of violence and fighting since last Saturday in southern Yemen has led to a high number of victims and wounded among civilians. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams already received and treated 8 severely injured patients at Aden hospital, transferred from Jaar Health Post, and 43 were received at Lawdar Hospital, both supported by MSF.

Since Saturday, MSF have seen an increase on patients admitted in health facilities in Jaar, Lawdar and Aden, following a new wave of violence and fighting around Zinjibar, capital of Abyan governorate, and Lawdar, a hundred miles northeast of Zinjibar. MSF is concerned about the fate of civilians caught in the bombs and ask all parties to respect the protection of the population and allow access to health facilities.

In Jaar, medical staff started working from the post office where a health post was organized. The Ministry of Health staff, supported by MSF, provided basic emergency care to the population. Staff in Jaar kept on working during the last few days, despite the impossibility to transfer emergency patients, get necessary medical supply, and communicate with Aden. The exact number of patients treated since the beginning of the fighting is still unknown but teams have been recently able to transfer 4 patients to Al-Hosn and 8 to MSF Aden Surgical Center. All 8 patients referred are in very serious medical conditions. They are all civilians with bomb blast related injuries.

Teams, supported by MSF, at Lawdar Hospital treated 43 patients since last Saturday, but were unable to carry out any referral because of road blockages. MSF started supporting the Ministry of Health medical staff in the emergency room and maternity last January, because of the relative isolation of the area caused by surrounding conflicts and instability. During 15 days of heavy clashes in April more than 200 heavily injured people were received in the emergency room of Lawdar hospital.

Since January 2012, more than 3.000 patients were treated at the Jaar Health Post and more than 1.500 at the Lawdar Emergency Room. Our medical structures referred to Aden more than 200 acute cases that could not be taken in charge in Abyan region. More than a third of these cases were trauma cases related to violence, and the vast majority was civilian victims.

MSF has been working in Yemen since 1994 and continuously since 2007. Today, the organisation conducts medical and surgical activities in the governorates of Amran and Hajjah in the north of the country, as well as in Aden, Lajh, Abyan and Al Dahle, in the South.

MSF is a private humanitarian international organisation providing emergency medical aid in nearly 65 countries worldwide. For its activities in Yemen, MSF does not accept funding from any government and chooses to rely solely on private donations.