UN Migration Agency Supports Yemen’s Struggling Health Care System

Posted: 
05/09/17
Themes: 
Humanitarian Emergencies, Migration Health

Yemen - On 4 May 2017, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) donated over three tons of medicine and medical supplies to the Al-Jumhori Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen. The medicines and medical supplies are mainly for treating acute diarrheal disease.

The donation was part of IOM’s urgent response – that is, implementation within 24 hours – to the formal request from the hospital for support in managing the growing number of patients arriving at the hospital with acute watery diarrhoea, or AWD. 

Yemen’s healthcare system is on the brink of collapse. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only 45 per cent of health facilities in Yemen are fully functional and accessible, 38 per cent are partially functional and 17 per cent are non-functional, and at least 274 of those facilities have been damaged or destroyed during the current conflict.

The latest WHO update from 21 March 2017 stated that, since the October 2016 start of the emergency, a cumulative total of 23,506 suspected cases of cholera have been recorded. Authorities have said that this number includes 108 associated confirmed deaths across the country. Of these reported cases, Vibrio Cholera 01 has been laboratory-confirmed in 198 stool samples collected from 15 governorates. 

While cases are now on the decline, some new cases continue to surface due to poor access to health-care services and limited ability of health workers to investigate conditions everywhere due to the country’s difficult security situation.

“Since 28 April 2017, more than 100 patients have arrived with suspected cholera and four cases were laboratory-confirmed,” explained Dr. Nasr Al-Qadasi, General Director of Al-Jumhori Hospital.

Throughout 2016 and 2017, in response to the outbreak, IOM provided public hospitals with water tanks, solar panels, rechargeable batteries, electricity networks, medical supplies and other equipment, as well as daily water trucks providing clean water.

Moreover, IOM continues with medical screening for AWD among migrants in all governorates where IOM clinics are operating. IOM has established Diarrhea Treatment Units (DTUs) in the three IOM locations. From 16 October 2016 to 29 April 2017, some 36,693 migrants were screened. Among them 1,933 suspected cases and nine confirmed cholera cases were detected either in Aden or Hodeidah.

The donation of the medicine and medical supplies to Al-Jumhori Hospital was funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

For further information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) unloads medicines and medical supplies donated to the Al-Jumhori Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)