Mohammad, a soldier of the National Yemen Army, 40 years, whose right knee was severely injured in a bomb blast in Adib leading to bone infection with 8-10 sharpnels embedded in the bone stood with his amputated leg talking in Arabic about his ordeal and what brought him to India. Six of his friends died in the war. In Yemen he could not be treated and was told by the medical authorities that he will have to go somewhere else. He has undergone 8 surgeries at Medeor hospital since 3 months he has been in Delhi. Jameel, who was hit by a bullet on his thumb, is also being treated in Delhi. Both Mohammad and Jameel spoke through their interpreter. ‘We are happy that we have come to India for medical treatment. Our dream was to visit India and we are thankful to India for the treatment.’
Like Mohammad and Jameel there are about 21 Yemeni war casualties being treated at VPS, part of Medeor Healthcare with hospitals in Delhi and Cochi, Chennai. Yemen having a fragile healthcare system, since 2015 around 600 patients have been brought to India and have returned back home after a successful medical treatment.
The patients from Yemen are brought to India as part of the bilateral relationship between UAE and India. Indian government has issued a medical attendance visa for these patients. An aid of US$5.9 Billion has been provided to Yemen by UAE.
In Yemen soldiers and civilians alike have not just suffered physical injuries but the aftermath of the ongoing civil war is a world of chronic epidemics and malnutrition leading to diseases like cholera, hepatitis. On the other hand they suffer mental stress and hypertension needing urgent medical attention as well. Every war comes with a human cost.
On the occasion, the Ambassador of UAE to India Dr Ahmed AlBanna said, ‘’UAE India has strong bilateral relations. Many MOU’s have been signed with government institutions. In healthcare there are collaboration and cooperation in UAE and their counterparts here. As part of its international responsibility of humanitarian aid, UAE decided to help and assist people who got caught in war torn Yemen. For support and rehabilitation, we contacted several hospitals in India. VPS was one of the main service provider. From 2016-18, 729 Yemenis have been cured and from January 2019 to June 2019, 209 have received medical treatment. India is a good health service provider. UAE provides humanitarian assistance of food and medicines apart from other things to Yemen.’
Clearing UAE’s position on aggression the Ambassador said, ‘UAE condemns all acts of violence and hope that we will see this active aggression by these certain groups end and Yemenis may live harmoniously in their country. We support all UN resolutions, the efforts of UN envoy for final resolution, we support all countries to end active aggression. We want happy Yemen’.
Apart from India, the Yemeni war injured are taken to Egypt and Jordon. The first patient was brought in 2015 when the war started. Red Cresent also is a partner in this mission apart from VPS.
India, being a healthcare destination, has been the first choice of many a countries across the world. In a statement Dr Shajir Gaffar, Group Director VPS Healthcare said, ‘India’s medical excellence is well established in the world. We hope to accomplish this humanitarian mission with brotherhood and commitment to serve people in need.’ Most of the patients need multi disciplinary treatment and are required to undergo orthopedic, plastic, general and neurosurgery to make full recovery. Patients undergoing treatment at Medeor hospital were attended by expert team of doctors and staff from various departments of Orthopediacs, Nuerosurgery, General Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Ophthalmic surgery.
Director VPS Healthcare Marwan Haji Nassar thanked India and UAE’s generosity for medical support and recovery.
The war ravaged country of Yemen is in need of humanitarian assistance of all kinds. The ongoing war between pro Saudi government backed military and the Houthis with their supporters and pro Iran allies has been going on since 2015 rendering hundreds of soldiers and civilians badly injured or killed.