Send a message of support to our team in conflict-hit Yemen
People in Yemen have endured eight brutal years of war, but the conflict rarely makes the headlines in the UK.
Our staff have been working to provide life-saving healthcare at crucial medical projects across the country – staff like nurse Yasmeen Ibraheem Mohammed Shaweesh.
During the December period, send a message of support or goodwill to Yasmeen and the team in Ad Dahi, a rural area where the conflict has touched every aspect of life.
Tell us about your job...
I'm a paediatric nurse. I work in the MSF hospital in a village called Ad Dahi, in Al Hudaydah Governorate in northern Yemen. My family is from this region, so I’m working in my local community.
Ad Dahi is quite rural, so many of our patients are farmers. But, we also have a lot of patients who have come from outside the area who have had to flee their homes because of the war.
In the hospital, a lot of our patients are children. There are a lot of difficulties here, many families can’t afford to buy food, and malnutrition makes children even more vulnerable to different diseases. So, at our hospital, we have a big focus on paediatrics and care for newborn babies.
However, there’s definitely a need for care for adults too, so we have an emergency room where anybody can get free medical care when it's urgent.
How is the conflict affecting life in your area?
The war and the blockade have made things very hard here and lots of people have lost their incomes. When the conflict gets close to people’s hometowns they flee and some come here to be safe. But, usually, they have to leave their business or their job behind so they are starting again with nothing.
The farmers are struggling. The war has hit our country’s whole economy. Families around here are living in huts or small rooms and most don’t have access to electricity or a clean water supply, not even toilets. They have no money and the war has damaged so much infrastructure.
We see it in the hospital – because people are now living so crowded together, and without sanitation, that we see deadly outbreaks like cholera and dengue fever.
Some people cannot afford shoes, not even flip-flops, and walk barefooted in the dark in areas full of snakes, scorpions and rabid animals. Many families can only afford one or two meals per day and it isn’t nutritious food.
So, even if the fighting isn’t on our doorsteps, people here are still suffering because of this war.
What's your favourite thing about your job?
Since the beginning, I love helping people and relieving their pain. That's why I chose the field of nursing. I love the team spirit here in the inpatient department, how we all work together, and how keen everyone is to provide health services for our patients.
I feel fortunate that I got the opportunity to work with MSF, which provides humanitarian service to patients regardless of gender, race, or religion.
MSF has clear guidelines and principles that make sure that the care people get when they come to our hospital is high quality and free of charge – there’s nowhere else that people can get that around here.
It makes me happy and proud to know that I am serving my community.