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Yemen: MSF faces an influx of war wounded as fighting intensifies in Hodeidah, Hajjah, Saada and Taiz governorates.
As conflict intensifies on several frontlines across Yemen, an influx of people with war-related injuries are being treated at facilities run by international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Hodeidah, Hajjah, Aden, Saada and Taiz governorates.
In Hodeidah, a major offensive was launched on 1 November by forces loyal to President Hadi, backed by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition (SELC), against Ansar Allah troops. Heavy ground fighting and aerial bombardments are threatening the lives of thousands of civilians.
Between 1 and 6 November, MSF teams in Hodeidah treated 24 war-wounded civilians at Al Salakhana hospital, including five women and nine children. Of these patients, 17 had blast injuries and one had a gunshot wound.
In the same period, another 50 war wounded were treated at MSF’s surgical field hospital in Mocha, 180 km south of Hodeidah, mostly injured by blasts and gunshots. They included three women and eight children.
This increase follows an intensification of ground fighting and aerial bombardments in Hodeidah since last Thursday.
"A stronger offensive by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition backed forces was launched with a deployment of troops on the ground. They have moved quickly around the city,This raises fears of a siege which could affect the tens of thousands of people still living inside Hodeidah.
“A stronger offensive by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition backed forces was launched with a deployment of troops on the ground. They have moved quickly around the city,” says Frederic Bertrand, MSF head of mission in Yemen. “This raises fears of a siege which could affect the tens of thousands of people still living inside Hodeidah.”
“Every day we hear the sound of heavy airstrikes and shooting in the city,” says Bertrand. “On Monday afternoon [5 November], ground fighting occured near Al Salakhana hospital and the MSF house. Our teams had to stay inside the hospital for their own safety.”
Daily airstrikes are also ongoing in the Haydan district of Saada governorate – the most heavily bombed region since the conflict escalated in March 2015. MSF works in Haydan hospital, which was hit by a SELC airstrike three years ago.
MSF teams are also seeing increasing numbers of war-wounded patients from Hodeidah and Taiz at MSF’s trauma hospital in Aden. Between 1 and 6 November, 16 patients were treated in Aden hospital for war wounds. All 16 came from Hodeidah, a six-hour drive from Aden, to access much-needed surgical care. As fighting intensifies in Hodeidah and other parts of the country, MSF is extremely concerned for patients and staff at its health facilities, as well as for the thousands of people who live near frontlines. All parties to the conflict must ensure that civilians and civilian facilities such as hospitals are protected in Yemen.
* Please note that the lead photograph is a file photo of the Emergency Room at Aden hospital in July 2015