Taiz - Healthcare Under Siege Yemen
The city centre of Taiz has been besieged by Houthi forces since April 2015, blocking trade and depriving the population of humanitarian assistance. Access to health care is very complicated; only a few health facilities remain operational and active fighting and a closed frontline are making it difficult for the wounded and sick to reach them. Civilians have also been directly targeted, and health structures hit.
MSF has been providing medications and supplies to several hospitals in Taiz, also inside the besieged area, since early May 2015. In November 2015, MSF opened a Mother and Child Hospital and a trauma stabilization center in Al-Houban neighborhood. Services include emergency room, maternity, pediatric care and nutrition programs.
The situation in Taiz exemplifies in many ways the main humanitarian concerns for Yemen as a whole, and MSF is one of few actors witnessing this situation. Highlighting the situation in Taiz is therefore both a witnessing imperative and a strategic choice.
Medical services in Taiz have been directly affected by violence, with hospitals repeatedly hit by shelling and gunfire, an MSF mobile clinic was hit by an airstrike, and ambulances shot at, confiscated or forcibly entered by armed men. Medical staff have been shot at on their way to work, harassed, detained, threatened and forced to work at gunpoint. Many health workers take great personal risks working in Taiz, and many fear for their lives while at work.
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