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Médecins Sans Frontières Negotiates To Return Staff To Radfan Hospital In Yemen

hospital in Yemen (), known as Doctors Without Borders, is negotiating with conflicting parties in Lahj governorate in order to allow their staff to return to the region. As a result of security concerns, Carolyn Merry, head of the organization’s mission said to the Times on Sunday, that MSF evacuated some of their international and national staff from their office in Radfan district, Lahj governorate on 3 February.

Merry mentioned that “We evacuated some of our international and national staff, but we still have some staff working in the hospital” She explained that the organization is not operating at full capacity at the moment. However, remaining staff is trying to preserve the running of the hospital. She also added that some patients needing surgery are being pointed out to other hospitals in Lahj or Aden.

Moreover, she denied some media reports that claimed that MFS is leaving Radfan. She reported: “This is not true. We have withdrawn some of our staff and now we are negotiating better security for medical activities in Radfan.”

Merry noted that “We are still supporting the hospital,” She focused on the intention of the organization to return with full capacity and the evacuation was just short term because of security problems. According to Merry, the organization offers some support for the emergency room in besides other medical assistance.

According to Merry, the MSF assists anybody who is in need of medical care without his or her political or religious affiliation as an international medical care organization. However, the organization was not capable to do that “in a neutral way” in the past several weeks.

She explained that the ambulance is vulnerable to many security checks when they refer to some patients and “this makes work very difficult and dangerous for the patients, drivers and nurses.” In addition, she reported that fighting often takes place around the hospital, and MSF calls on all parties to respect the space of the hospital to enable workers to present medical care in a safe environment.

She hopes that evacuated staff will be able to return soon, because the organization has had “positive talks with different sides of the conflict and they want us to resume our full activities” She mentioned that a local source in Radfan said to the Yemen Times that the existence of MSF staff in Radfan Hospital “is vital as the health services in the district have been hugely improved after their intervention.  They have operated the micro-operations after being suspended for a year and they provide all the medical care for people in need, for free.”

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