Gurugram: Gulf war victim healed by Indian doctors

Twenty-four-year-old Mazen Moqbel Dhaiban lost his lower leg limb to a landmine, while hanging out with his friends in one of the conflict torn cities in Yemen.

He is one of the 45 young and old Yemeni civilians who have been air-flown by the UAE government to Gurugram's College Park Healthcare to be fitted with artificial limbs and rehabilitated.

The war in Yemen, between forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement, has killed more than 8,600 and injured 49,000 people since 2015. Around 1,700 civilians fighting the rebels have been flown from UAE since then.

Those like Dhaiban have found peace in India. Receiving treatment for around 15 days now, the young fighter says, "I come to the hospital every day at 11 am and do a couple of exercises. I lost my limb five months ago, but the new one is flexible and doctors say I will be able to walk properly in a few months."

Dhaiban misses playing football, his favourite sport, but for someone who has seen more than enough trauma in his life, he stays positive. "My friends in Yemen who got a plastic leg have started playing again. My condition is many times better than that. I will be back on the field in no time," he says with a smile.

"The UAE government's decision to transfer to India for treatment Yemeni citizens injured in the ongoing assault on the country by armed militias is a reflection of the trust we have in India's medical infrastructure. It also speaks of the close bilateral relations between the two countries," says Ahmed Al Banna, UAE ambassador to India.

"The UAE has already spent more than $2.35 billion (Rs 15,170 crore) in humanitarian and development aid for Yemen in the past two years alone. We are very pleased with the standards of medical treatment provided to our Yemeni brothers and sisters in Indian hospitals," Banna added.

Tarun Kumar Kulshreshtha, chief prosthetist and orthotist at College Park Healthcare says the results are making patients and him happy.

"They are bonding with Indian patients as well, despite the language barrier. Our prosthetic limbs are manufactured in Germany and cost around Rs 3 lakh. We have customised them a bit. For instance, in the Middle East and here, we cannot enter places of worship with shoes on. So we have added an additional layer to avoid wear and tear when used without shoes," he said.

Helmi Abd Ali Beshr took a bullet in his spine and had to amputate both legs. He suffered from paralysis and was on wheelchair. After months of treatment, he is about to leave walking.

When asked if they want to return to Yemen, they smiled and said, "We are ready to give up every part of the body to fight terror. We dream of a peaceful Yemen."