The air bombardments and its aftermath
Years after withdrawing from Saada, Yemen, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) re-opened a project in Haydan hospital in 2015. On 26 October 2015, the hospital was hit by a Saudi and Emirati-led coalition airstrike, partially destroying the facility. In February 2017, MSF teams came back to Haydan and started a progressive implementation of medical activities: maternity, IPD, referral to Saada hospitals, OPD. They finished the hospital's reconstruction in April 2018.
Haydan is located in Saada governorate, which remains the most targeted governorate by Saudi and Emirati-led coalition (SELC) airstrikes, according to the independent monitoring group Yemen Data Project (YDP). Almost a quarter (23%) of all recorded air raids since March 2015 targeted Saada. According to YDP, 17,729 civilians were injured or killed in SELC air raids between 2015 and 2019 in Yemen.
Stories of the air bombardments and its aftermath
Mahmoud went to Haydan hospital to get a medical consultation for his son. He has 4 sisters and he is responsible for the whole family since his father passed away, when he was 16. At that time, he stopped going to school to work and provide money to his family. They all live in Waadi Ben Jalaat, 2 hours walking distance from Haydan. He said that his village was bombed three times. He is afraid that his child will have the same life he has.
Khalid is born in Haydan and he has worked in the hospital for several years - he is a cleaner. He was working inside the facility when it was destroyed by a Saudi and Emirati-led coalition airstrike, on 26 October 2015. His wife fainted when she heard the airstrikes. The school of Haydan was also destroyed by an airstrike. Two of his children refused to go back to school after that because they were afraid. Today, his children are going to school, this is important for him to give them the opportunity to study, despite the war and their dire living conditions. Before the war, he used to have his own business. Two of his houses were also bombed.
Sherif is working as a watchman for MSF. He comes from Sahar Al Sham, near the Saudi border. He has a 6-year-old boy. His family was displaced because of the war, as the area became an active frontline. He used to work as an English teacher. The family moved to Saada where he worked as a motorbike taxi to get money. After a while, they were back to Haydan, where Sherif used to volunteer as a teacher. With the war, life has become difficult and prices have been skyrocketing for the past few years. He is complaining about the dysfunctional school system: he prefers teaching his child instead of sending him to school. In Haydan, students and teachers are afraid to go to the school since it was bombed by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition in 2015.
Ayman, above, is a barber coming from Ibb, South of Saada. In 2015, his house in Saada city was bombed by a Saudi and Emirati-led coalition airstrike. 28 members of his family died that day, only three of them survived including him. He remembered screams coming from the rubble, while he could not do anything to help them. At that time, he was studying IT. His brother, who owned a barber shop, died in the bombing. After that, Ayman stopped studying and started managing his family's barber shop. This is the first time he is going back to his house since 2015.
Yemen, Saada city, 22 April 2019
Abdallah is 53. He was in Saada when a park and several shops were bombed near the old city of Saada in 2015. His brother was owning a shop that was destroyed that day.
Faez stands in front of his house that was destroyed by an airstrike. He works as a watchman for MSF in Saada city. He lost his mother in the bombing of his house. He is currently building a new house on the former one.
Although aerial bombardments have decreased in Yemen, Saada remains the most bombed governorate by the coalition, with almost a quarter of all recorded air raids since March 2015. Coalition airstrikes have targeted military sites but also civilian infrastructures, like markets, mosques and hospitals.
In 2015, the MSF hospital in Haydan was also bombed by the coalition and the structure was eventually rebuilt in April 2018.
In 2018, around 14,000 emergency consultations and 3,800 antenatal consultations were provided at Haydan hospital. The same year, more than 1,500 patients were admitted in the IPD.