Yemen: Doctors Without Borders set up emergency hospital in Mocha

Life-saving facility helps Yemenis in urgent need of humanitarian assistance

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The international aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has set up a makeshift hospital in Yemen's port city of Mocha to provide life-saving assistance for civilians.

The emergency hospital, comprised of tents, is the only medical facility between frontlines that provides surgical care to civilians. It has proven to be vital.

MSF doctors treat patients with gunshot wounds, children injured by landmine explosions, and pregnant women struggling with complicated deliveries.

The hospital has 35 beds, one emergency room and an operating room. It has had more than 2,000 visits between August and December and doctors have conducted over 1,000 surgeries.

"We conduct dozens of surgeries every day, although we are in a tent, the operating room can get very noisy because of the wind," Dr Bernard Leménager said.

The ongoing war has made it nearly impossible for humanitarian workers to offload aid and get it to those who need it, particularly through the port city of Hodeidah, which has been under Houthi control, and is Yemen’s main entry point for desperately needed food and medicine.

Patients that visit the hospital often suffer from fractures caused by gunshots, Dr Bernard said.

“We also perform amputations, mainly due to landmines and explosions, and a lot of laparotomies too, for penetrating abdominal wounds,” he said.

"We often operate cesareans as patients often arrive late at MSF Mocha hospital and cannot access healthcare in a timely manner, reducing the chance of survival for both mother and child," the organisation said in a statement.

Civilians that suffer from injuries caused by conflicts "often lose precious minutes before being treated, that can cost them their lives".

Yemen is one of MSF’s largest country programmes worldwide. The organisation employs nearly 2,000 Yemeni staff and gives financial support to ministry of health staff, as well as day workers.