Large numbers of civilians have been wounded in fighting and bomb blasts in southern Yemen over the past nine days.
A team from Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has treated eight severely injured patients with bomb-related injuries in Aden, transferred from an emergency health post in Jaar, while a further 43 patients have been received at Lawdar hospital.
Since 12th May, MSF teams have seen increasing numbers of patients admitted to health facilities in Jaar, Lawdar and Aden, following a new wave of violence around Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan governorate, and Lawdar, 100 miles northeast of Zinjibar.
In Jaar, at an emergency health post set up in a post office, MSF and Ministry of Health medical staff have been providing basic emergency care to the injured.
They have continued working over the past few days despite extremely challenging conditions, which have made it impossible to get hold of essential medical supplies, transfer emergency patients to hospital, or communicate with Aden.
Exact numbers of patients treated since the new wave of fighting started on 12 May are not known, but MSF teams confirm that four patients have been transferred to Al Hosn, eight have been transferred to MSF’s surgical centre in Aden, and 43 patients have been treated at Lawdar hospital.
Medical staff in Lawdar have been unable to refer patients to other health facilities as road blocks have made travel impossible.
Lawdar is relatively isolated due to conflict and instability in the region. During 15 days of heavy clashes in April, more than 200 seriously injured patients were received in the emergency room of Lawdar hospital, where MSF has been working since January.
Since January 2012, more than 3,000 patients have been treated at the health post in Jaar, and more than 1,500 at Lawdar’s emergency room.
MSF staff have also referred more than 200 patients with serious injuries to Aden. More than one-third of these were trauma cases related to violence, and the vast majority were civilians.
MSF is extremely concerned about the fate of civilians caught up in the current fighting, and calls on all parties to protect the civilian population and allow access to health facilities.
MSF in Yemen
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.