Yemen's Humanitarian Nightmare | INTERSOS

Interview with Dr Aiman Al-Sakkaf, Health and Nutrition Supervisor di INTERSOS in Yemen.

The situation in Yemen, after the conflict broke out in 2015, is particularly critical. What are the medical projects that you are currently following with INTERSOS?

I am now following the project of Provision of Integrated Health and Nutrition services to IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and conflict affected communities in Aden governorate, implemented by INTERSOS mobile clinic teams and funded by DG ECHO. The main objective of the project is to contribute to the reduction of maternal and child morbidity and mortality among IDPs, returnees and conflict affected communities, through the provision of free life-saving integrated primary health care services by running mobile clinic teams and by granting support to referral health facilities (including emergency services) and through the activation of a network of community health volunteers assuring outreach health services. Through this project at total 115.250 IDPs, returnees and host communities in Aden governorate will have access to integrated package of Health and Nutrition services.

What are the main needs of the population that you assist with your projects?

Aden governorate in general needs different kinds of humanitarian support. The main needs of the population here are assistance to survive, protect their basic rights and provide basic services such as health and education, while trying to find a way to adaption with the effects of displacement. The most affected areas of the project are the lack of primary health care and food insecure, including people facing acute food insecurity. In addition to the scarcity of the necessary needs, especially in the electricity and oil and a number of basic services from the governorate.

People don’t only die because of the conflict, but above all the disastrous consequences of war are the resulting illnesses such as malnutrition. How does the INTERSOS team tackle this problem?

INTERSOS have 4 mobile clinics will provide support to the disrupted Health and Nutrition services in Aden. The mobile teams will provide integrated Primary Health Care (PHC) including nutrition services to communities that are in the 3rd layer of the catchment area of the nearest health facilities. These mobile teams are supported by Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) which are identifying and referring malnourished children, Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW) and children with illness, and in general people in urgent need for medical attention to the Mobile Clinic (MC).

What are the results of INTERSOS intervention from the outbreak of conflict until today?

INTERSOS has a long-standing presence in Yemen, having been in the country since 2008. INTERSOS is working in 13 governorates in Yemen, implementing protection programs for refugees/asylum seekers and migrants and conflict affected communities (IDPs, returnees and host communities) providing prevention and response services in GBV, CP and PwSN. Looking into a more integrated approach and aiming to contributed to much needed assistance in one of the most affected sectors in the country, since May 2015 INTERSOS has been implementing health and nutrition projects in Yemen based on the mobile unit approach to strengthen and complement the integrated essential health services disrupted by the conflict. The mobile health-nutrition services already being successfully implemented by INTERSOS in Sana’a, Aden, Taiz, Ibb and Hadramout governorates have proved to be a very effective, efficient and appreciated way to deliver the full package of integrated essential health and nutrition services (immunization, ANC, PNC, BEmONC, IMCI, OPD and nutrition) to the communities affected by the conflict in Yemen.

What is the appeal that you would like to launch to the international community?

I would like to launch this appeal to the international community to achieve peace in Yemen and provide urgent different resources for urgent humanitarian needs in Yemen.

Besides being a doctor, you are a very good photographer. What does it mean to you to take pictures of your work? Why is it important?

As I believe, we must need for visual documentation of the project and the need to transfer suffering in its natural form through my camera lens to the organization and the donor as well. I believe that the picture you see is 100 times better and stronger than the one that you read.

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