Since February, Humanity & Inclusion has expanded our scope of action in Yemen to ensure that people with disabilities and other vulnerable individuals are not left on the sidelines during this crisis. We’ve recruited dozens of additional staff members and are now working in seven hospitals in and around Sana’a, the capital of Yemen.
Since 2015, we’ve provided rehabilitation care to 7,500 people, psychological support to 8,500, and distributed 9,800 mobility aids such as crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers. François Olive-Keravec, HI's director in Yemen, describes what has become one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world:
The fighting continues in Sana’a, with the frontlines established further from the city, as opposed to the situation in November and December last year when they were situated in the city center. There is frequent bombing around the military base close to the airport, to the north of the city, where one of the hospitals we work in is also located.
Waves of injured patients
Injured individuals arrive in waves. It varies according to the intensity of the fighting. Included are victims of explosions, gunfire, car and motorbike accidents. We see a lot of amputations.
One of the challenges facing us in recent months has been the early discharge of patients. As the hospitals are over-crowded, the medical staff have been sending patients home immediately after their surgery. Our teams, who are not part of the hospital staff but providing rehabilitation and psychological support, sometimes find out that a patient has left the hospital without necessary rehabilitation care.
We are trying to convince the hospital staff of the importance of rehabilitation and to provide better patient follow-up, so they can be managed in a rehabilitation center if they need to leave the hospital.
The blockade continues
Sana’a has not suffered from the same shortages as in other parts of the country, but prices have increased dramatically. The blockade put in place on November 6th last year has never really been lifted. There are no commercial flights coming in or out of Sana’a and the activity at the Hodeida port is restricted. The limited imports which are entering the country are nowhere near what is required to meet the population's needs. We have recently experienced difficulties obtaining supplies of crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs, a problem we hope to resolve quickly.