A new Surgical Hospital for War Victims.
EMERGENCY has transformed a former government building into a Surgical Centre for War Victims in Hajjah, Yemen. Our staff are working alongside local teams to start clinical activities.
The Centre opened its doors to the first war-wounded at the beginning of March 2022, with over 70 patients admitted during the following fortnight: a high number due to the resumption of conflict in neighbouring areas.
In this start-up phase, an EMERGENCY team is coordinating local staff with the aim of consolidating their operational autonomy.
The Hajjah Surgical Centre provides care for war victims and patients in need of life-saving treatment, affected by severe trauma and critical injuries. Medical staff will provide free surgical treatment, rehabilitation and physiotherapy for the victims of a conflict that has created one of the world’s most devastating humanitarian crises.
For more than six years now, Yemen has been in the grips of a desperate humanitarian crisis due to the ongoing civil war.
More than 300,000 people have died as a result of the fighting, and some 20 million are surviving on humanitarian aid alone.
Infrastructure is heavily damaged, making access to remaining health facilities and essential services even more difficult. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that only half of the 5,000 health facilities that used to be in the country are functioning today.
Among those paying the highest price for the war are children. According to the United Nations, more than 10,000 children were killed or injured in air and ground clashes, and more than 2 million were affected by malnutrition in 2021.
War surgery and life-saving treatment
Hajjah governorate has been hit very hard by the fighting, which has left it one of the least stable and most dangerous parts of Yemen. Approximately 600,000 of the 2.6 million people living there have had to leave their homes when battle lines were redrawn, and over 2 million have required humanitarian aid.
In December 2020, we began work on the facility. This involved renovating the building in its entirety, setting up mechanical systems, plumbing and electrics (including a central distribution system for medical gas to be used in the operating block), and building an intensive care ward, emergency department, and buildings for auxiliary services.
The hospital has four operating theatres, emergency department, an area for diagnostics (including a laboratory for analysis and radiology), a post-treatment clinic, a room for short intensive monitoring, five intensive care beds, 60 ordinary ward beds, a physiotherapy room, cast room, pharmacy, offices, and technical and auxiliary services (laundry and kitchen), the latter shared with nearby Al-Gomhori Hospital.
Specific training and Recruitment of the Centre’s staff
The 250 local health workers who make up the team at the Surgical Centre have been trained by EMERGENCY staff to ensure the correct application of war surgery guidelines and protocols developed by EMERGENCY over more than 28 years of experience in the field.
Trauma courses for healthcare professionals in the country
In spring 2021, our team coordinated training sessions in Pre-hospital Trauma Care for 120 first aid medical workers from all over the country.
The objective of these sessions was to enhance and reinforce medical and nursing skills, particularly for Yemeni workers in high-risk areas.