Why are we there?

  • Armed conflict
  • Displacement
  • Massive flow of migrants

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    Our work

    This is an extract from our latest Activity Report, looking back on our work in the previous year.


    Violence and political instability are preventing access to healthcare in a number of regions in Yemen.

    Security incidents within health facilities further restrict access. In 2012, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was forced to suspend activities on several occasions in some areas.

    MSF continues to promote the importance of weapon-free health facilities and protecting patients and staff.

    Huth health centre closed due to security incident

    Huth health centre, in Amran governorate, was closed by the Ministry of Health after armed men entered the facility and threatened MSF staff in September. Emergency, outpatient, maternal, paediatric and inpatient services were halted.

    In contrast, the team at Al-Salam hospital in Khamir increased activities, opening a new nursery, a paediatric ward and an intensive care unit, and expanding maternity services. The outpatient feeding programme was handed over to the Ministry of Health so that MSF could focus attention on patients suffering from more complex conditions.

    Joint mobile teams of national and MSF staff carried out regular clinics in the remote Osman and Akhraf valleys to screen for and treat malaria and malnutrition.

    Mosquito nets were distributed and the number of cases of malaria fell to zero in the Osman valley towards the end of the year. More than 300 patients received treatment in total.

    Surgical centre opened in Aden

    In April, MSF opened a 40-bed emergency surgical centre inside Al-Wahda hospital compound, in the city of Aden. The centre receives patients from within Aden as well as from MSF-supported facilities in Abyan and Ad-Dali. Patients needing specialist reconstructive surgery are referred from here and Sana’a to Amman, Jordan.

    By the end of the year, most people displaced by the civil unrest had returned home, lessening the demand on health facilities in Aden, and the team withdrew from these facilities. 

    Supporting emergency services

    In Ad-Dali governorate, MSF worked in the emergency department of Al-Naser hospital and managed surgical referrals to Aden. The team also improved sterilisation and waste management, and donated drugs and medical supplies for the operating theatre.

    In Abyan governorate, staff provided emergency, surgical and maternity services at the Post Office medical post in Jaar, until public health authorities reopened Al-Razi hospital in June.

    The hospital had been closed in September 2011 after an attack on the facility killed seven people. MSF also supports Lawdar hospital and other health facilities in Abyan with donations of drugs and medical supplies. 

    Measles broke out in Amran and Ad-Dali at the beginning the year. MSF staff treated 395 patients. In Abyan, 83 people were treated for dengue, a virus transmitted by infected mosquitoes, which causes flu-like symptoms.

    Mental health programme opened

    An MSF team started to provide mental health assistance to migrants in Haradh, Hajjah governorate, which is on one of the main routes from the Horn of Africa to the Gulf states.

    Activities reduced in Hajjah and Lahj

    Activities in the hospital near Al-Mazraq, in Hajjah, and in Radfan district hospital, Lahj governorate, were scaled down, as the situation for the displaced stabilised. In December, MSF withdrew from Al-Hosn health centre.

    At the end of 2012, MSF had 576 staff in Yemen. MSF has worked in the country since 1994.

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