Yemen | News | Donations from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates provide access to health care for millions in Yemen

Donations from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates provide access to health care for millions in Yemen

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27 May 2019, Aden/Sana’a — The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed its gratitude to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates for a grant of US$ 20 million, which will support ongoing efforts to stop the spread of cholera in Yemen.

“This support is crucial for stopping cholera transmission in the most affected communities, and to build the capacity to rapidly detect and respond to future outbreaks,” said Altaf Musani, WHO Representative in Yemen.

Yemen has been grappling with cholera outbreaks since the end of 2016, with the ongoing crisis in the country wreaking havoc on the ability to provide an adequate response. With a health system on the verge of collapse, the spread of the waterborne disease has been exacerbated in a country where 17.8 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation services.

The US$ 20 million received will ensure the scale-up of essential response activities in 147 high-risk districts, including increasing the number of diarrhoeal treatment centres, conducting campaigns for oral cholera vaccination, rolling out water, sanitation and hygiene activities in health care facilities, building the capacity of health workers, and promoting positive health-seeking and protective behaviours.

Overall, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have provided US$ 145.6 million in funding since 2018. Thanks to this support, in the first quarter of 2019, 2 million women received emergency reproductive health services and 25 primary health care facilities reopened in remote areas populated by internally displaced people, providing health care access to almost 50 000 people. In addition, 18 million people have been vaccinated against cholera, diphtheria, measles, polio and rubella in 2018/2019.

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

See Yemen country profile

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