Yemen: injured need urgent care

c_Handicap-International__Girl_receives_treatment_in_Sanna_Yemen.jpgPHOTO: Saeed, a Handicap International physical therapist, works with a patient at the Al-Thawra hospital in Sanaa, one of the main hospitals providing care for victims of the conflict.

Yemen has been torn apart by a conflict that has killed more than 3,000 civilians in the past year. The humanitarian needs are immense.

People with injuries from throughout the north and west of this Arab country in Western Asia are receiving treatment in two hospitals and one health center in the capital city of Sanaa. It’s here, since October, that Handicap International teams have worked alongside more than 1,200 people to help them regain their strength and mobility. Along the way, staff have put 1,800 mobility aids, including crutches and wheelchairs, into the hands of people with injuries, giving them a simple tool, of the many they’ll need, to help recover their independence.

The invisible suffering—mental anguish and trauma—is tremendous. Teams have provided psychological support to more than 1,000 people, both victims of the conflict and their close family and friends.

To ensure the skills needed for conflict trauma care are available in Yemen, 100 health care staff working in Sanaa and other governorates are learning from Handicap International teams how to manage and care for injuries. At the same time, Handicap International is sharing information and advice with other humanitarian actors working in Yemen to ensure their emergency response efforts—be that related to food distribution or access to bathrooms—make proper provisions for people with disabilities, women, children, older people, and other often vulnerable groups.

Separately, Handicap International weapons specialists have worked over the last few weeks to identify weapons in the areas worst affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war. This information will be critical as local populations are taught about the risk of accidents caused by explosive remnants of war, and how to stay safe amid so much deadly pollution.