High levels of poverty and unemployment combined with continuous insecurity make it difficult for Yemenis to access healthcare.
Basic healthcare and lifesaving surgical care is provided by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Al Azaraq and Qataba’a districts of Ad Dhale governorate. More than 47,000 outpatient consultations took place in 2014. Emergency surgery for victims of violence is available in Al Naser general hospital, Ad Dhale city. The team performed around 300 surgical procedures here between June and September, when they were evacuated because of insecurity.
MSF teams in Amran continued to support Al-Salam hospital, providing emergency, maternity, inpatient and outpatient services and assisting in the laboratory and blood bank. More than 2,300 surgical interventions and 25,300 emergency consultations were carried out, 5,200 patients were admitted to hospital and over 2,500 babies were delivered during the year. To assist the communities in the remote Osman and Akhraf valleys, MSF supported the reopening of Heithah health unit in April, but insecurity caused the suspension and then complete cessation of activity in November.
MSF’s emergency surgical unit in Aden re-established networks of medical referrals from Abyan, Ad Dhale, Lahj and Shabwah – places frequently affected by violence and increased surgical needs. More than 2,000 emergency consultations, 1,600 surgical procedures and 5,600 physiotherapy sessions were completed. A weekly clinic in Aden central prison recorded more than 1,600 consultations. Support to Lawdar and Jaar hospitals in Abyan was stopped because MSF was seeing fewer victims of violence from these areas, and the networks were re-established and strengthened so patients could be referred to the MSF emergency hospital in Aden.
Rapid emergency response
MSF set up a team to provide rapid medical aid following violence and other emergencies. Medical supplies were donated to clinics and hospitals, relief items were distributed to people forced to leave their homes by conflict and direct care was offered to victims of violence and the displaced. Medical items were donated to 38 health facilities in five governorates, including the capital Sana’a, and hundreds of displaced people received direct emergency support.
Reducing HIV stigma
Lack of knowledge about HIV/AIDS among healthcare providers has been the main cause of stigma and discrimination in Yemen. MSF trained staff in seven hospitals as part of its work with the National AIDS Programme and its advocacy resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of people getting tested for HIV, including pregnant women, and in the number of HIV-positive patients admitted to Al Gumhuri hospital in Sana’a.
MSF closed the mental health programme for migrants in detention that had opened in 2013. The number of new arrivals had stabilised, and there were organisations ready to take over running the project.