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Yemen: "We had over 80 participants every day"

20 Oct 2016

Suzel is a Médecins Sans Frontières Australian nurse currently working in Ibb, Yemen. “I’m in Djibouti at last! Best rest ever even if I just learnt that it has been cut short and I’m going back to Sana’a tomorrow instead of Thursday. It has been so good to disconnect for few days.

This last month has been really busy at the hospital. Fortunately our new ER doctor has arrived and it is nice to be able to share the workload again. The ER referent from Geneva arrived at the same time to do the training for the Mass Casualty Plan. We did that last week, over three days with a simulation the last day. We had over 80 participants every day with medical staff coming from other hospitals like Nasser Hospital, Jeblah Hospital and the Mother and Child Hospital which is in Al-Houban area of Taiz. It was a great training and everybody enjoyed the experience.

We have also started to do some mobile clinics in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and there is a good response. Eight months on and the improvement in Al Thawra ER is very encouraging. The staff seems to be well settled and has adapted quite well to the new rules and protocols. They are really keen to learn and take pride in the work that has been achieved. 

For me, I’m starting to feel more comfortable in my new role. I’m less often in the resuscitation room, but I spend more time following special cases and I like that part of the job very much. At the moment one of our special case is Mohammed. Mohammed is a homeless man with intellectual disability. Someone pushed him in the street, he fell and broke his hip. Of course he didn’t have any money to pay for the prosthesis, the surgery and the admission. The people living in the same street than Mohammed tried to help him but could not raise enough money. The orthopedic surgeon cut his fee and Médecins Sans Frontières stepped in to cover for the prosthesis and the admission fee. He is now recovering and much happier. I really don’t know what would have happened to Mohammed if it wasn’t for Médecins Sans Frontières as there is no service to look after those people.

We also have another very sad case. It is a little 10-year-old boy who came to us after being run over by a truck. Both his legs were cut off mid thighs. He came from one of the villages around Ibb and his parents didn’t have the money for the operation. The surgeon did the amputation for free and Médecins Sans Frontières is covering for the admission, the medications and the dressing supplies.