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Yemen: A Catastrophe Unfolding

Right now, a catastrophe is unfolding in Yemen. Patients are arriving at our hospitals with complex infections, already suffering from acute respiratory distress. This makes treatment extremely difficult and worse still, suggests that many more people could be sick. That many people are also dying at home is shown by government burial statistics, which reveal that as many 80 people have been dying in the city per day through late May, up from a pre-outbreak normal of 10. Another indication of just how widespread the outbreak has become is the number of healthcare professionals we are treating in the centre.

Dr Ghazali Mohammed Babiker, deputy head of mission in Médecins Sans Frontières, didn’t mince words when calling for international support for Yemen on 21 May:

“We have seen many things while working in Aden. We kept our hospital open during the darkest days of fighting in 2015 and are used to receiving hundreds of wounded in just a few hours. There is something uniquely sad about the outbreak of COVID-19 in the city, however: the catastrophe we all feared was coming is now here.”

Hear first-hand about the difficult situation from Thierry Durand, Médecins Sans Frontières project coordinator who has recently returned from Yemen:

Across our projects working in over 70 countries, COVID-19 has impacted every area of our work. Our staff are working tirelessly to ensure continuity of care in places like Yemen, South Sudan and Afghanistan, where COVID-19 is adding fuel to already precarious situations.

When existing health emergencies are compounded with the current global pandemic, the tireless efforts of our medical teams become all the more urgent.

We can’t lose sight of those who need us most. With your donation, we can continue to treat patients and send urgent supplies. Your confidence in our work allows us to build on more than 50 years of experience saving lives and protecting vulnerable people facing some of the most confronting conditions.

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