88 Injured Yemeni Nationals Arrive in India for Medical Treatment

The patients from Yemen come to India under a program sponsored by the UAE-based Emirates Red Crescent organization.


India has extended help to Yemeni nationals who have been injured during the ongoing Houthi insurgency in the country. A total of 88 injured Yemenis landed in New Delhi on Nov. 19 for medical treatment, under a program launched by the United Arab Emirates-based Emirates Red Crescent organization.

The injured victims, who will undergo treatment at Fortis Hospital, were brought in by a UAE Air Force C-17 military transport plane fitted with state-of-the-art medical equipment and carrying doctors, the Khaleej Times reported. Two of the patients require hospitalization in the intensive care unit.

This is not the first time India has offered to treat Yemenis who have suffered in the prolonged strife. In June this year, a group of 90 Yemenis arrived in the country to seek medical treatment. While some of them were admitted to the Rockland Hospital in Vasant Kunj, many others received medical aid at Manesar in Gurgaon.

Yemeni nationals have been seeking treatment at Fortis Hospitals since 2015. “Yemeni nationals have been coming to Fortis Hospitals in the last two years. Over 20 of them have sought treatment in the past two years,” an Outook report quoted as saying in June this year.

The patients come to India under a program sponsored by the ERC, a humanitarian organization based in the UAE. The entire cost of transporting the war casualties and their treatment is borne by the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation. ERC bears the cost of medical escorts who travel with the injured.

Between April and June 2017, 99 patients were brought to the VPS Rockland Hospital at Manesar. The injured were brought in a batch of two, while the first batch has 50 patients who were flown in on April 15, the next batch was flown in on June 23 and comprised 49 patients. Another set of 65 patients was brought in later, after the first batch was treated and sent home.

Overcoming  Challenges

One of the biggest challenges faced by the doctors at Rockland has been the language. In April this year, VPS Rockland Hospital had to hire 40 interpreters who knew Arabic. But that was the least of the doctors’ problems as the real challenges lay in the ravages that the war had caused. Post-traumatic stress disorder was one of the toughest challenges that presented itself. Being miles away from their homeland made the patients look at everyone with an eye of suspicion, the Indian Express reported at the time.

Hospitals also have to alter a lot of their standard procedures for them, preparation of food being one of the areas of concern. The cooks have mastered the art of making the traditional Yemeni soup, Marak Temani. The patients are also served kuboos, a kind of flat bread, the report added.

Strife-torn Yemen

The number of people killed since March 2017 is more than 4,773 while another 8,272 people have been injured since the air strikes ensued, according to the United Nations. Over 15.2 million Yemenis are struggling to access even the most basic healthcare amenities, and that is half the population of Yemen, the BBC had reported earlier.

It is not just the civilians who are admitted to hospitals in the National Capital Region of India, and many injured army personnel, drivers and teachers have also been brought for treatment.

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