London, August 3, 2018 - Dozens of people were killed in an attack on Al Thawarah Hospital in the Almahwat area of Hodeidah city on August 2, 2018, Action Against Hunger runs Hodeida’s largest diarrhea treatment center (DTC) located on the hospital grounds. The explosion occurred roughly 10 meters from the hospital entrance, and 20-25 meters from the DTC. Hospital staff are still struggling to cope with the large number of injuries, and the attack has caused widespread panic among the already traumatised population of Hodeidah.
Al Thawarah Hospital is the main, and one of the few, functioning hospitals in Hodeidah where many civilians come to seek health care on a daily basis. ACF’s diarrhea treatment center has a capacity of 100 beds, and is crucial in treating the steadily increasing number of acute watery diarrhea and suspected cholera cases. The hospital itself has not been damaged in the explosion, but the attack has caused widespread panic among staff and the 23 patients inside, including confirmed cholera cases.
“We cannot move patients who have tested positive for cholera with severe symptoms, as this will risk contamination and the spread of the disease across the city,” warns Stephanie Lord, Action Against Hunger’s Field Coordinator in Hodeida and Hajjah.
“Patients are now scared and understandably some tried to leave the center. Some have actually left, which risks exacerbating the probability that many more people could become infectious.”
In the midst of a military offensive and a breakdown in all basic services, of Hodeida, the area where the Al Thawarah hospital is located has recently been the target of a number of airstrikes, causing further suffering among the remaining population in the city. Many local and international organisations are increasingly struggling to deliver aid and services as a result.
“While civilians are being targeted by attacks on hospitals, we cannot treat acute watery diarrhea and cholera outbreaks properly,” says Valentina Ferrante, Action Against Hunger’s Yemen Country Director.
“The Al Thawarah Hospital site should have been omitted as a target by all parties and any military activities. Belligerents must abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law so that we can continue with our work to stem acute diarrhea and cholera outbreaks, and to ensure that civilians have an unimpeded access to one of the few health facilities remaining in the city.”
- Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organisation that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. We save the lives of malnourished children and work with their communities before and after disaster strikes. We ensure that everyone can access clean water, food, training and healthcare. We enable people to provide for themselves and we constantly search for more effective solutions, while sharing our knowledge and expertise with the world. We push for long-term change. We will never give up. Until the world is free from hunger.
- In 2017, Action Against Hunger helped more than 20.2 million people in nearly 50 countries around the world.