MSF: Drastic Rise in People Seriously Ill with COVID-19

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has reported a drastic influx of critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization in many parts of war-torn Yemen, the organization disclosed on its website.

“We are urging all medical humanitarian organizations already present in Yemen to rapidly scale up their COVID-19 emergency response,” said Head of Mission for MSF in Yemen Raphael Veicht. “International donors who cut their humanitarian funding to Yemen must also act quickly.”

“All aspects of the COVID-19 response are lacking and need greater international support, from public health messaging, to vaccinations to oxygen therapy,” according to Veicht. “Support is needed across the board.”

After six years of war, Yemen’s healthcare system has been crippled. The capacity to treat people in intensive care is limited, MSF has confirmed, noting that it provides support to the COVID-19 treatment center at Al-Gomhouria hospital in Aden province.

MSF also stated that its medical team is able to care for people in an 11-bed intensive care unit (ICU) and up to 46 patients in the inpatient department, adding that all 11 ICU beds are currently occupied.

“Unfortunately, many of the patients we see are already in a critical condition when they arrive,” conveyed Line Lootens, MSF medical coordinator in Yemen.

Lootens added: “Most patients need very high levels of oxygen and medical treatment. Some patients also require mechanical ventilation in the ICU, which is technically difficult and requires a very high level of care.”

MSF is calling on the Yemeni people to follow the COVID-19 prevention measures, such as social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks.

It is also vital that patients with severe symptoms seek specialized medical care early on to have a better chance of recovery.

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