With UAE’s support, Yemen’s war victims get a healing touch in India

Mansoor Ali Mastor, 28, from Hodeidah, Yemen, who lost both his legs to a landmine blast, being treated in Delhi for four months. (AN photo by Sanjay Kumar)
Updated 31 July 2019

With UAE’s support, Yemen’s war victims get a healing touch in India

  • In two years, more than 1,000 have been brought to New Delhi for treatment

NEW DELHI: Mansoor Ali Mastor’s quiet demeanor hides the fire inside. His amputated legs have not dampened his spirit to go to the battlefield again. He is now waiting for his artificial legs to be fitted so that he can stand.

The 28-year-old farmer is from Hodeidah, a district in the northwest of Yemen. Late last year he gave up farming, as Houthi rebels planted landmines in his field, and joined the army to fight the Iranian-backed militia. His father was kidnapped and kept in captivity for a year. In March this year, as he was walking down the street leading to his house, a landmine claimed both his legs. 

For the past four months he has been at New Delhi’s Medeor hospital.

“The Houthis have planted bombs not only in the fields but also in our kitchen. For us living is a daily challenge,” Mastor said.

“I am just waiting for my artificial legs to fit, so I can go back home and fight. I am really thankful to the UAE government for giving me new hope in life, and grateful to the Medeor hospital for nurturing me.”

Twenty-one-year-old Helmi Mahfoodh is also taking treatment for his badly injured leg in Medeor. Hailing from Al-Wazaia in Taiz District in Yemen, Mahfoodh’s left leg was badly injured by a landmine when he was fighting the Houthis. 

After spending four months in hospital, he is waiting to fly back home.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The UAE has been funding the treatment, and India has been facilitating the process, by issuing visas to the injured and those accompanying them.

• Helping the UAE is the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a humanitarian group which helps people in the conflict zone.

• Some of the injuries were so complex that the doctors at the Medeor hospital had to perform multiple surgeries.

“We are grateful to Saudi Arabia and the UAE for standing by the people of Yemen,” he said. He, too, was considering becoming a farmer, but “Houthi insurgency has destabilized our lives. We need to eliminate them for the future of Yemen.”

In the last two years more than 1,000 injured people from Yemen — both soldiers and civilians — have been brought to New Delhi for treatment. Some of the injuries were so complex that the doctors at the Medeor hospital had to perform multiple surgeries.

The UAE government has been funding the treatment, and India has been facilitating the process, by issuing visas to the injured people and those accompanying them.

“The UAE has strong bilateral ties and cooperation with India, and health care is one of the most important areas of collaboration,” said Dr. Ahmed Al-Banna, the UAE’s ambassador to India.

“The UAE government, as part of its international responsibility to humanitarian aid, chose the Medeor hospital as its partner to provide health care facilities to injured Yemeni people. Since July 2016 we have helped over 1,000 people from Yemen in India,” added Al-Banna at a press conference in Delhi last week.

Helping the UAE is the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a humanitarian group which helps people in the conflict zone.

Al-Banna says that the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis was doing its best to ensure there are no civilian casualties.

Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director of VPS Health Care, told Arab News: “The mission was initiated by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Shaikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

“We are extremely privileged that the UAE government has trusted us to send Yemeni patients to our hospital for treatment. We have formed a special team of specialist doctors and nurses,” he added.


At least 8 soldiers dead in blast outside Somali army base

Updated 31 min 31 sec ago

At least 8 soldiers dead in blast outside Somali army base

  • The Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab extremist group often targets military sites in Mogadishu

NAIROBI, Kenya: A Somali police officer says at least eight soldiers are dead and more than 14 others wounded after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gates of a military base in Somalia’s capital.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein says the toll is expected to rise.
Police Col. Ahmed Muse says the bomber struck the 12th April Army Brigade base near the newly reopened sports stadium in Warta-Nabadda district.
Witnesses say ambulance sirens can be heard as police cordon off the scene. Huge clouds of smoke are billowing.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab extremist group often targets military sites in Mogadishu.