“The need for human help is huge”
In the civil war, the country of Yemen with more than 3500 people to Dengue are suffering from fever. Dozens have already died. The humanitarian situation was very critical: Since the 2015 war, according to UN data, more than 10,000 people were killed, among them thousands of civilians. More than three million people have fled the country, millions of children are threatened by Hunger, add to that a Cholera epidemic.
In Yemen, a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition is trying to the Shiite Houthi rebels push back. The goal is, the lawful government to be restored. The Saudi Arabs see the Shi’ite Huthi militia threatened to be supported from Riyadh’s arch-enemy Iran.
The aid Agency Medécins Sans Frontières operates in the civil war land twenty hospitals. In the Interview, the head of the Mission, Caroline Ducrame told, what it lacks, how it is Infected and what you need now.
MIRROR: How threatening is the spread of Dengue fever?
Ducarme: Dengue fever has the same cause, such as Malaria, the disease is transmitted by mosquito bites transmitted. However, the Malaria sting-carrier only in the evening. The Dengue-carrier, attack their victims throughout the day. The symptoms are head and joint pain, Nausea.
MIRROR: Who makes it?
Ducarme: The victims are mostly Displaced persons, of which there are here close to the front line, in Hajja in the coastal town of Houdaida, especially are many. They live in tents or under tarps. It is hot and humid. The ground is transformed by the heavy rain, to laugh slurry with water. All of this promotes the dissemination.
MIRROR: Why can people not protect?
Ducarme: The persons Concerned must during the day, outside, stop, their livelihood secure. The further away they live from a hospital ward, the worse it is. Health care is collapsed by the war to a large extent.
SPIEGEL: What does this mean in concrete terms for the Infected?
Ducarme: Dengue fever is actually a well-treatable disease, if a rapid response is. But the path through the Checkpoints and front lines is difficult, the Transport is expensive. The patients have to wait too long, because there are hardly achievable in primary care. At the end you land in the emergency room. Which is actually reserved for other patients. Our Hospital in Hajjah, and more precisely in Abs, has treated, for example, in October alone, 6990 people with a wide range of problems, an extremely high volume. All because there is no local primary care more.
MIRROR: Previously, have already been tens of Thousands of Cholera infections reported. What is the cause of this?
Ducarme: Unclean water is the most common reason. The water was previously treated, the water lines maintained, and clean water was easily accessible. Today, many water destroyed pipes and wells by the fighting. Cases of cholera are widespread, fortunately, just a little on the decline.
MIRROR: How do you handle the population, this collapse of infrastructure and supply?
Ducarme: Everything is a challenge. We take the residents living to the North of the divided city of Taiz in Taiz Hoban. Before the war, it took ten minutes to get to the hospital in the southern part of Taiz. They drove down the main road. Now you have to go through dozens of Checkpoints, and a front line. Now the patients are seven hours on the road.
MIRROR: From Yemen to come again and again images of the Hungry, in particular children concerned. Why is there a shortage of food?
Ducarme: It was there before the war, very poor areas where people struggled to Survive. The conflict has intensified, however, and we see regions where today, about one in every 15. Man is severely malnourished. The people simply have no more money, the Inflation is huge, there is no work. The resources of many are exhausted.
MIRROR: For the past two weeks, there are fewer bomb attacks. The reason for the ongoing peace rebels to negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Houthi. Life is easier now?
Ducarme: We feel that the intensity of the fight just fades away, but the supply of people is not improving. The need for human help is huge.
MIRROR: at least the security situation better?
Ducarme: The violence against civilians continues, the counter of medical facilities. Two weeks ago, was in Mochha, in the South of Hudaida, our tent Hospital was attacked. We were able to evacuate the patients just yet. Our pharmacy with medicines to the value of 300,000 euros burned, a clear violation of international humanitarian law.
SPIEGEL: How is that possible? The war parties are aware of their locations?
Ducarme: We were not the target, but an ammunition store in the vicinity. But no one takes responsibility. It is already the sixth attack on an MSF hospital in Yemen since we got here.
MIRROR: Feel the Yemenis of the world left in the lurch?
Ducarme: Both sides in this war, to restrict access for aid organisations into the country, if you are the hurdles, there are also different set. Travel permits, visas, import permits for medicines are bureaucratic made extremely complicated.
MIRROR: What would have to happen now?
Ducarme: Requires is actually everything, Doctors, medical Teams, technical support, medication, pharmacist, health stations, the of the patient day and night running can be. Helpers must be allowed to reach the people in Need. Is necessary that access be opened in the Yemen, and the hurdles were eased.