Bushra, 24, is sitting on her bed in Al Thawra hospital in Sana’a. Her face looks haggard and her fists are clenched. The last few months have been very hard. Originally from the governorate of Dhamar, some 120 kilometres from Sana’a, Bushra was injured in an air strike that destroyed her neighbour’s house.
“After the bomb exploded, I felt a sharp pain in my leg and I couldn’t walk. They took me to the medical centre in Dhamar, but my injuries were too serious. My father immediately decided to rent a car and take me to Sana’a.”
In Sana’a, Bushra was referred to Al Thawra hospital, one of three medical facilities supported by Handicap International. She was told her thighbone was broken and she would need surgery to prevent her losing the use of her leg.
After her first operation, Handicap International’s teams gave Bushra a walking frame.
“They taught me how to use it and I can move around again now, but I can’t walk normally yet,” she explains.
To help people like Bushra become more self-reliant, the organisation has donated more than 1,327 mobility aids - crutches, walking frames, wheelchairs, etc. - to the health facilities it supports. A total of 713 people have benefited to date.
Providing psychosocial support to victims of the conflict
Traumatised by the air strike and feeling very lonely, Bushra finds life hard, despite Handicap International’s support. “I’ve been in hospital for three weeks and I really miss my family. My father has been great, but he can’t really afford to stay in Sana’a. He doesn’t know anyone here.”
To help Bushra and her father, Handicap International’s teams give them regular help and psychosocial support. A total of 1,613 people - casualties and their families - have been given 949 psychosocial sessions to date.
These sessions are important because, like most casualties of the conflict in Yemen, Bushra’s injuries aren’t just physical.
According to Handicap International’s psychosocial worker, Malikah: “Victims of war often feel they’re worth less because of their injuries, but when someone listens to their problems, it helps them feel better. So they deserve our undivided attention.”
Despite this help, Bushra is still worried about her operation tomorrow.
“I can’t think about anything else at the moment. All I want is to walk again and get my life back to normal.”