Coronavirus: MSF ends emergency intervention in Aden as infected cases decline

Coronavirus: MSF ends emergency intervention in Aden as infected cases decline
Coronavirus: MSF ends emergency intervention in Aden as infected cases decline

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Yemen said the dedicated Covid-19 centre in Aden that serves the entire south was handed over to local authorities late on Monday.

The medical charity said the reasons behind the move were the rapid decline in infected cases in the southern city.

“Having trained an excellent team of Yemeni medical and non-medical staff, MSF is confident that the continued Covid-19 treatment capacity that the city needs will be achieved by the Ministry of Health,” said a statement by the organisation.

The charity, which began managing the centre in April, has treated hundreds of infected patients in Al Gamhuriah Hospital, from Aden and the surrounding provinces in the south such as Al Dhalea, Lahj and Abyan.

“The disease was new and had no proven treatment, and the health system was weakened by years of conflict - so clearly the city’s hospitals would struggle to treat large numbers of severely sick patients,” MSF said in a statement.

War-ravaged Yemen, whose malnourished population has among the world’s lowest immunity levels to disease, is divided between the internationally recognised government based in Aden and its foe, the Iran-aligned Houthi group, in the north.

From June till August 26, the centre admitted 194 patients in Al Gamhuriah Hospital.

“Seventy of these patients were transferred to the intensive care unit department, 66 patients were discharged and 13 were referred to other hospitals for further non-Covid medical care,” said the statement.

Only two patients remain in intensive care and four in the in-patient hospital ward for less severe patients.

“The numbers of new Covid-19 cases have remained consistently low in Aden in August, and it makes sense for MSF to end its emergency intervention as per the agreement,” said the statement.

The organisation offered a short-term acute emergency response capacity for the city and for patients referred from the surrounding area.

“MSF teams worked in active collaboration with the Ministry of Health from April to offer a Covid-19 treatment response,” said the statement.

The charity will continue to provide assistance to the population in need in Yemen, it said.

In total Yemen's health ministry has recorded 1,958 infected cases and 566 deaths since the outbreak began earlier this year.

Updated: September 1, 2020 04:08 PM

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