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Health systems development

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National Health Strategy for Yemen 2011–2025

The newly developed National Health Strategy was approved and endorsed by the Cabinet in June 2011. The mission of the Strategy is to ensure sustainable preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services that are of high quality, ensure user satisfaction and respect equity in distribution of resources. The specific objectives of the Strategy are to:

reduce incidence rates of communicable and noncommunicable diseases;

reduce mortality rates, especially maternal, neonatal and children under-5 mortality rates, through development of the health system, primary health care services and Millenium Development Goals acceleration;

improve the quality of services;

activate intersectoral collaboration and coordination;

control environmental factors affecting health;

promote healthy lifestyles.

The fourth five-year development plan (2011–2015)

With the technical support of a national consultant, the Ministry of Public Health and Population has developed a 5-year development plan for 2011–2015. The plan has been approved by the Cabinet and is ready for implementation.

Human resources development

A health system cannot function effectively unless it has qualified health personnel. WHO supports the Ministry of Public Health and Population in improving the quality of teaching and services provided by health personnel. This support has several dimensions as outlined below.

Medical schools

WHO strengthens the role of medical schools in qualifying health personnel through technical and financial support. This focuses on curriculum development, training in medical education, upgrading teaching methodologies, developing self-assessment skills and establishing electronic libraries.

Health institutes

WHO seeks to improve the quality of teaching at paramedical health institutes through support for an on-the-job GTZ-affiliated training programme on teaching methodologies and skills. WHO is also providing support for the establishment of new disciplines, curriculum development, skills laboratories and libraries, and updating teaching methodologies.

Nursing programme

WHO helps run a programme to improve the skills of nurses and midwives, and therefore the quality of the services they provide. The institutionalization of the programme is currently being pursued, along with the updating and revision of the job descriptions of nurses and midwives.

Yemeni Board of Medical Specialization

WHO has supported the Board since its establishment in 1994 and is continuing to ensure that quality teaching is provided. Each year the Board graduates hundreds of doctors from its three main programmes: a diploma programme (with nine disciplines), a masters programme and the Arab Board of Medical Specializations programme.

Human Resources Department in the Ministry of Public Health and Population

In 2009, WHO supported the Ministry of Public Health and Population in establishing a database of human resources for health. Since then, the Department has been entering data on all health workers regarding name, qualification, area of work and years of experience. To date, more than 40 000 health workers (doctors, nurses, midwives, etc.) have been registered. This computerized system will prevent any duplication in reporting and will act as the backbone for developing the human resources for health strategy.


The WHO fellowships programme helps develop the skills and knowledge of health personnel in different aspects of public health. Two types of fellowships are supported:

Short term: capacity-building in one specific topic relevant to the area of work of the fellow nominated

Long term: for higher diplomas and masters in public health.

Starting in 2012 the selection process for candidates will be done through a selection committee made up by members from the Ministry of Public Health and Population and WHO.

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Health systems

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 27 426
Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure) 3.9
Primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 1.6
Life expectancy 65.3

Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

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PO Box 543