Yemen | News | Journey to recovery: Yemeni patients get new lease on life in Jordan

Journey to recovery: Yemeni patients get new lease on life in Jordan

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9 February 2020 – A plane carrying Yemeni civilians who need medical treatment abroad landed in Jordan yesterday. The flight is the second to arrive this week as part of the United Nations/WHO medical airbridge operation.

“These are some of the first civilians to leave the country since the start of the crisis, signaling a new era of hope for Yemen and all Yemenis,” said Altaf Musani, WHO Representative in Yemen. 

young-girlEarlier this week, 6 children were the first patients to be flown out of Yemen as part of the medical airbridge operation. Several have already had successful surgeries and are in good spirits, and optimistic about their future. 

With today’s flight, they have now been joined by an additional 22 men, women and children, bringing the total number of Yemeni patients in Jordan to 28. 

These patients are part of a special group of chronically ill Yemenis who cannot get the treatment they need inside the country. Many of them suffer from different types of cancers, kidney disease, congenital anomalies and other conditions.

A third flight is planned to Cairo, Egypt, scheduled to depart from Yemen in the coming weeks. 

The medical airbridge operation was made possible through negotiations by the UN special envoy for Yemeni Martin Griffiths and UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande, as well as the governments of Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Inside Yemen, WHO and partners continue to support the provision of aid for millions of people in need of basic and lifesaving health care services. 

Patients were selected by the High Medical Committee and their medical files were reviewed by a global service provider. The patients are selected based on need and a pre-defined list of 12 disease conditions that cannot be treated in Yemen, subject to certification that the patient can travel without medical assistance during the flight


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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