Yemen Conflict!

In a country already faced with widespread poverty, vulnerability, food insecurity and lack of health services, the escalation of conflict in Yemen in late March 2015 has had a terrible impact on civilians, especially children and women.

Nine months later, nearly 5,000 people have been killed and 25,000 injured as a result of conflict. More than 1.4 million people have been displaced, sometimes more than once.

Education has come to a standstill for nearly 2 million children, with 3,584 schools, or one out of four, shut down; 860 of these schools are damaged or sheltering the displaced. The lack of functioning schools and continued insecurity delayed the resumption of the school year until November, normally scheduled in mid-September.

Many public health facilities have been damaged or forced to shut down. Before the escalation of conflict, more than 15 million people – around half the population – had no access to health care. That number has now risen dramatically, putting an already vulnerable population at even greater risk.

With the agriculture and fishery sectors heavily affected and food imports cut short by the crisis, livelihoods have been eroded and the ability of families to feed their children further diminished.

The bombing of defenseless civilians in the their homes, all cities, roads, schools, hospitals and the very few available facilities of electrical supply has left every city in Yemen without electricity, blocking out food, fuel, drugs and other essential materials for basic living for almost 9 continuous months. 

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A Happy Seasonal Tale

In July 2009 Swinfen Telemedicine received a case from an orphanage in China of a very seriously ill baby girl aged just 16 months. She had been abandoned with a heart condition, respiratory distress, severe pneumonia, had difficulty in holding her head up and was extremely malnourished weighing just 5.3kgs. Our system operator sent the case straight to one of our USA consultants, a Professor in Paediatric Cardiology, who diagnosed and gave advice on treatment.

After 2 months of treatment Candice started to show signs of improvement and we received the fantastic news that she was matched and was to be adopted by an American family. Sadly 6 weeks later she took a dreadful turn for the worst with Flu and was in desperate need of heart surgery but as she was matched to a family she would not be allowed to receive surgery from the government orphan fund. Candice was admitted to the local hospital with respiratory distress and mycoplasma pneumonia, we did not know if she was going to survive. They managed to stabilise her with drugs BUT still no heart surgery! She was returned to the orphanage.

As it was a matter of life or death the nurses of the orphanage decided that they would try and find a hospital that would be willing to do the surgery. Thankfully their efforts paid off and Candice was admitted, surgery performed and after a while in recovery she left the hospital with a smile on her face and even managed to say a few words.  On her return to the orphanage our Swinfen consultant continued to give advice on treatment.

In March 2010 little Candice was adopted by her “Forever Family” and taken to her new home in America.

Swinfen Telemedicine has kept in contact with the family and very much look forward to hearing news of the special little girl – Candice.

Latest news from the family

“Our Candice is now 7 and half years old – can you believe it?! And she is doing wonderful. Her teachers give us glowing reports about her academics as well as her citizenship. Perhaps our proudest is when her teachers tell us that she is blessed with a very strong gift of compassion for others. We have seen this first hand. Anyone who is sad or hurt is immediately a concern to Candice.

She is learning the violin and doing very well. She enjoys music, singing, art and seems to be conquering math and reading at an impressive rate. She is becoming more and more confident in making friends. Candice now has a dog!  and he is almost as cute as she is.

 Her latest cardiology exam was just a week ago and the doctors expressed some amazement. There is virtually no evidence of a past major problem with her heart. We were told there was no need to return for another three years.

May the joy of this season bless each of you! We are forever grateful!”

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