MedGlobal provides hope and healing, completes highly successful mission in Yemen

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MedGlobal recently returned from a targeted medical mission in Yemen providing medical and surgical services and medical training programs. A diverse team of highly skilled medical and surgical specialists, as well as master trainers, joined from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Spain, and Russia – collectively donating a total of 2,190 hours of services. MedGlobal also donated medications and medical supplies to the hospitals, including 10 portable ultrasounds. 

Yemen is currently experiencing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, resulting from nearly five years of relentless conflict intensified by severe pre-existing vulnerabilities – widespread poverty, conflict, poor governance, and severe economic decline. Since the escalation of the conflict in 2015, humanitarian and medical needs have become monumental. In 2019, an estimated 24.1 million people, 80% of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance or protection, 14.3 million of which are in severe need. 

The goals of the mission were to ensure a long-lasting and sustainable impact by providing access to comprehensive medical and surgical services, giving evidence-based training programs to the local medical community to aid in capacity-building for local healthcare providers, providing local medical teams with essential medications, medical/surgical consumables, and medical equipment, as well as maintaining and expanding partnerships with local and international NGOs, UN agencies, and advocacy.

The surgical team performed a total of 86 surgical procedures and 224 surgical consultations. Dr. Suhail Sharif, in collaboration with Dr. Opada Alzohaili, assessed the thyroid glands of many patients. Using one of the donated portable ultrasounds, Dr. Alzohaili was able to diagnose over 100 patients with thyroid nodules, approximately 30 of which needed biopsies or further procedures.

Dr. Suhail Sharif after a successful surgery.
Dr. Suhail Sharif (left) and Dr. Opada Alzohaili (center), successfully coordinate the combination of technology and team coordination.
Dr. Opada Alzohaili at a patient consultation.

The medical team participated in daily patient care services in Sayoun Hospital in specialties including endocrinology, optometry, infectious diseases, OB/GYN, pulmonary, and oncology/hematology. MedGlobal volunteers successfully provided direct patient care for over 1,000 patients. 

Optometrist, Dr. Mohammad Asfour, performed comprehensive eye exams and assesments for an average of 40 patients per day.
MedGlobal Co-Founder and President, Dr. Zaher Sahloul, joined the mission in Yemen and worked on several notable cases.

During this mission, MedGlobal received a call from the hospital to attend to a mass casualty from a motor vehicle accident (MVA). Expecting 20 patients to come by ambulance, they swiftly moved to the hospital and displayed an impressive level of harmony in the emergency room. The team assessed and treated the 10 patients who were brought to the hospital, many of which had life-threatening and serious injuries.

Dr. Ekaterina Kurlygina-Queiroz attending to one of the injured victims.

During this mission, two educational programs were implemented; Point of Care Ultrasound, and Helping Babies Breathe. Each program comprised of several sessions and attendees included physicians, nurses, midwives, interns, and specialists who were highly engaged and appreciative. 

Dr. Alex Bonnel, Dr. Nahreen Ahmad, and Dr. Neda Farzan covered introduction to ultrasound, lung, abdominal, and cardiac ultrasound, several hours of supervised scanning time on patients, among other topics. A total of 35 professionals attended the Point of Care Ultrasound training at Sayoun, Marib, and Karah General Hospitals. They utilized and donated ultrasound probes, called Butterfly iQs, a hand-held, state-of-the-art technology that can connect to a smartphone or tablet, giving low-resource areas access to life-saving diagnostics. 

Dr. Neda Farzan during an ultrasound training in the Marib Governorate.
Trainees, from the ER & ICU departments at Seiyoun Hospital, and our volunteer trainers, Dr. Nahreen Ahmad and Dr. Alex Bonnel after successfully completing two point-of-care ultrasound courses.

Dr. Lia Harris led the Helping Babies Breathe training program, an internationally recognized, evidence-based educational program aimed at reducing infant mortality by providing life-saving measures within the first minute of birth – the “Golden Minute.” The Helping Babies Breathe program has been shown to improve neonatal mortality rates around the world, specifically in resource-limited areas like Yemen. 

A key component of the training is aimed at creating sustainability by training some of the participants as instructors who can make a further impact beyond the mission by continuing to train members of the local healthcare community. A total of 54 professionals were trained and certified in HBB. 13 of the participants were trained to become master trainers.

Dr. Lia Harris led the Helping Babies Breathe training at Sayoun and Karah General Hospital.
Participants at the Helping Babies Breathe training at Sayoun and Karah General Hospital.

In addition to the two major training programs, volunteers provided formal and informal education sessions and lectures on a daily basis. 

Dr. Kwan Kew Lai conducted several meetings and lectures with the nurses, doctors, department directors, and hospital authority, who were eager to learn about improving infection control practices.

The mission was highly successful, providing hope and healing to Yemeni’s in the regions of Hadhramout and Marib Governorates. The work is still vast and we need your support so that we can continue building on these vital programs to bridge health care gaps in Yemen. Donate today!

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