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Neverending rain of bullets & bombs hitting people in Yemen

29 May 2019

Since a ceasefire was signed in mid-December 2018, aerial bombardments have reduced in Hodeidah but heavy ground fighting erupts every day inside the city, especially at night, close to the Al Salakhana area where MSF is present. In Al Salakhana hospital, our teams treat mainly trauma cases: burn patients, victims of road-traffic accidents and war-wounded, most of them civilians hit by stray bullets. Since October 2018, MSF teams have treated 6,600 patients in Al Salakhana hospital, including 440 war-wounded.

Transcript

Hisham Al-Dawa: Clashes erupt every day, especially at night, close to the Al Salakhana area where MSF is operating. The bullets reach the hospital. The civilians also, the bullets hit their houses. Some kids get shot because of stray bullets. 

Doctor: The bullet apparently is within the abdomen. This is the vertebra on the AP [anterior posterior] it’s here, but on the lateral it’s here. Operation time will be three hours. Knife please. 

Nizar Jahlan: The patient was so lucky because it’s only a small injury on the large intestine. Now we are going to finish the operation and close the abdomen. We receive a lot of road-traffic accidents, a lot of burn patients, a lot of fractures and also a lot of gunshots, most of them are civilian people. 

Yasser Ahmed: We’re fishermen, we got to sea the hole time, it’s how we make a living. We’d gone to sea for two days. We left at 4pm. At 3:30am, we’d just cast the nets from the first boat and were going to the second boat when the airplane came and bombed us. Eight people on the boat were injured. Seven of them died, he’s the only survivor. He lost two of his brothers, his nephew and several friends that day. The fishermen on the second boat were injured too, including me. We weren’t committing any crime, we were just trying to make a living.

Patient: It was around 1.30am, I was sitting next to my house and I was about to go inside when a bullet hit my leg. Two of my toes were amputated.

Nizar Jahlan: The main challenge is that some cases need a postoperative intensive care unit, which we have, but for complicated cases sometimes we have to refer these patients to another big hospital. 

Mohammed Youssef Al Hamadi: I don’t want my children to live in fear, I wish I could keep them safe. Like any father, I live in constant fear because death is so close all the time. Before the war, life was so normal, people were working and earning their living without fear of being hit by stray bullets. 

Super: Since October 2018, MSF teams have treated 6,600 patients in Al Salakhana hospital, including 440 war-wounded.