Goto main content

Yemen: Reducing the risk of disability

Emergency Explosive weapons Rehabilitation
Yemen

The conflict in Yemen is about to enter its fifth year. Wave upon wave of casualties continue to arrive in the country’s health facilities. Humanity & Inclusion teams are working tirelessly to support injured people and reduce the risk of permanent disabilities.

 

Zakaria learns how to use his prosthesis

Zakaria learns how to use his prosthesis | © Ayman / HI

The conflict in Yemen is about to enter its fifth year. Wave upon wave of casualties continue to arrive in the country’s health facilities. Humanity & Inclusion runs rehabilitation programmes in six hospitals and two specialised centres in Sana'a.

Like all teams working in conflict situations, they need to take into account the following factors:

Conflict casualties

People injured in the conflict are arriving in hospitals in large numbers. Roughly 60% have fractures, 10% need amputations, and 10% suffer spinal cord injuries and paralysis. Many patients have head injuries.

Mobility

HI’s teams start doing rehabilitation exercises with patients the day after surgery. It’s important they use their limbs at the earliest opportunity. HI also provides crutches, wheelchairs, and so on, to prevent patients from lying in bed and to make sure they can move around, go to the toilet alone, and so on. This helps restore their dignity.

Exercises and treatment

When someone has an amputation, their stump needs to be stimulated by a physiotherapist, starting with gentle exercises - small contractions - to strengthen their muscles.

Within two months, the patient should be able to wear a prosthesis and walk around. Patients with fractures are taught how to move their injured limb, dress themselves, get up, and so on, in order to help them become more self-reliant.

Hospital overcrowding

Because of overcrowding, patients only stay in hospital for a few days. We talk to them about their new physical condition and the risk of complications and disability, which we help prevent by teaching them daily rehabilitation exercises to do at home.

Training for medical teams

As Yemen has no post-operative rehabilitation services, HI provides doctors, surgeons and nurses with information on these services, shows them exercises to do with patients and discusses the sort of advice they need to prevent complications.

Filling the rehabilitation gap

If a patient stays in their chair or bed in the same position for too long, their limb may stiffen, and they could have problems moving around or wearing a prosthesis, and may never recover their mobility. If the patient has suffered a fracture and doesn’t move around, the joint can ossify and prevent them from moving their limb. Movement and exercises are essential to prevent or limit disability.

Date published: 19/11/18

COUNTRIES

Where we work

Read more

HI assists the most vulnerable as violence hits northern Mozambique
© HI
Emergency

HI assists the most vulnerable as violence hits northern Mozambique

For several days, HI’s teams have been working to guide and assist vulnerable populations - pregnant women, older people, people with disabilities, and children - displaced by recent fighting in Palma, northern Mozambique. They urgently need access to water, food and shelter.

A devastating fire in Freetown leaves thousands homeless and in shock
© HI
Emergency

A devastating fire in Freetown leaves thousands homeless and in shock

On the evening of 24 March 2021, a terrible fire burnt down the shanty town of Susan's Bay in Freetown, capital city of Sierra Leone. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is providing psychological support to the victims.

HI deploys teams in wake of Rohingya camps fire
© HI
Emergency

HI deploys teams in wake of Rohingya camps fire

On 22nd March, a major blaze ripped through the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. More than 40,000 people were directly affected and lost their shelter. Eleven people died and over 550 people were injured, according to initial reports. Humanity & Inclusion's (HI’s) teams have been deployed to assist the most vulnerable.

FOLLOW US