Yemen HEST January 2020

The DNF team, in partnership with MSF Spain, recently returned from our latest mission to Yemen which brought in 31 surgeons from across the country for a specialised five-day training course. Since 2015, Yemen has been the stage of one of the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophes. Hundreds of thousands of Yemeni citizens have already lost their lives, and as the fighting continues, many more are in need of urgent medical treatment and supplies. At the front-lines of this conflict are the surgeons and medics who face the challenge of saving lives without losing their own, all the while limited by a lack of resources and insufficient training.

Our Hostile Environment Surgical Training course (HEST) was designed to confront this problem. Over the course of five days, our Faculty, comprising David Nott, Ammar Darwish, Pippa Letchworth, Pete Mathew and Rebekka Troller instructed surgeons on a wide range of trauma topics. By equipping these medics with the necessary knowledge, confidence and skills that they need to treat patients, we can improve the medical outcome for countless people.


The regions where HEST is taught often rule out cadaveric teaching, so the Foundation’s whole body simulator, Heston, was employed for training. This state of the art, bespoke simulator mimics the look and feel of real human flesh and features the full range of organs, blood vessels and key anatomies needed for facilitating learning.



Supporting Heston, we also deployed our neonatal models and our new VR learning experience, which simulates a mass casualty event. This immersive experience focuses on the triage of ten patients using International Committee of the Red Cross categories: serious wounds, second priority, superficial wounds and severe wounds.



To date, the Foundation has trained 803 medics across 28 courses, benefiting an estimated 1.7 million patients. Through this global network of war doctors, we can raise the standard of medical care worldwide and continue to save more lives and limbs. To help us train even more surgeons, you can donate here.