Sana’a, June 2021
A clean but slightly ageing meeting hall.
Rasha stands by the lectern, listening to Michela talk and point her laser at the big screen. She takes quick notes on a pad so as not to miss a single phrase. When Michela finishes, Rasha turns to the audience, remains silent for a moment, then starts again.
But she is not just a translator.
In the ten days leading up to the start of the courses, Rasha was with us, studying hard, rising to the challenge. She wanted to know everything about the course before translating a single word. She learnt the concepts inside out before language even came into it.
So, what she is doing now is not just translating.
As Rasha explains to the class, bit by bit, what we have been saying, she stresses the important parts with her tone of voice and with measured gestures. She makes careful pauses as she waits for the listeners to take notes and asks questions to make sure everyone has understood.
Rasha is not just a translator. She is a nurse and trainer.
She works in the local state-run intensive care ward in Hajjah.
“I think I have the best job in the world but doing it here has become hard. Until not long ago the wage at the public hospital was 100 dollars a month. Then it fell to 50 and we had to look for new jobs at other hospitals in order to keep going.
We haven’t been paid for a few months now. We’re like volunteers.
A few years ago there were great hospitals in Yemen. Lots of doctors and nurses had the chance to study abroad and invest their skills back here. The quality of treatment and university teaching was good.”
Things have changed since the war started. Resources, studies, equipment – everything has slowed down until it’s almost ground to a halt. Just look around you.”
She points at the shelves and the library.
This room at the training centre is full of books, manuals and dummies, all covered in dust.
“The girl sitting at the desk in front of you is Fouzia. She was a teacher on the CPR course for university students. She’s still there now, waiting.
They used to run lots of courses like the one today but they haven’t for years now. Thank goodness you are here.”
– Roberto, EMERGENCY Nurse in Yemen
EMERGENCY IN YEMEN
Since the end of May 2021, our staff has been engaged in training courses in Pre-hospital Trauma Care for healthcare professionals and local specialized healthcare personnel.
Meanwhile in Hajjah governorate – a very hard hit area by the fighting, which has left it one of least stable and most dangerous parts of Yemen – our staff is currently renovating the Surgical Centre for War Victims in Hajjah, which will provide free, high-quality healthcare to the victims of one of worst humanitarian crises in the world, brought about by the ongoing war in the country.