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League of Arab States support to Yemen's emergency health care system

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Emergency medical care, including preparedness and response to mass casualty. remains a health priority within the humanitarian response in Yemen in light of  continuing instability and conflict and the threat of natural and man-made disasters.

In order to address the emergency medical care needs, including response to mass casualty incidents, WHO, in collaboration with and generous support of the League of Arab States, has supported the Ministry of Public Health and Population and Health Cluster partners in strengthening the emergency health care system and improving access to life-saving health care services to vulnerable populations through strengthening and raising the level of emergency medical services, including intensive care units at referral hospitals in affected governorates.

This joint venture has also included the procurement of medical supplies and equipment for emergency departments, capacity-building of surgical teams and conducting regular field visits for monitoring and control aimed at improved access to medical services and life-saving procedures at major hospitals.

Under this cooperation, emergency medical equipment was provided to emergency departments at hospitals in targeted governorates, including Sana'a, Ibb, Dhamar, Hodeidah, Abyan, Amran, and  intensive care units equipment was delivered to hospitals in Sana'a, Dhamar, Ibb, Hodeidah, Hajjah and Amran and the maternal and child health centre in Hadramout. Similarly, the medical staff have been trained on rational use of available equipment and instruments and proper management of casualties and emergency patients.

A delegation from the Technical Secretariat of the Council of Arab Ministers of Health visited Yemen in early May as they met the Minister of Public Health and Population, Dr Ahmed al-Ansi and the senior leadership of Ministry of Public Health and Population and WHO as they discussed the context of cooperation and further enhancement of collaboration between the Arab League of States and the health sector in Yemen. They also visited some of the assisted hospitals in Sana’a and Aden where along with WHO team assessed the level of health services and the impact of WHO/League of Arab States joint collaboration on improving emergency medical care services and way forward for further enhancement of service availability and readiness at the emergency wards with focus to intensive life-saving care services.

The minister delegated director of the Department of Health and Humanitarian Aid in the Technical Secretariat of the Council of Arab Ministers of Health, Dr Laila Fahmi Negm along with WHO team visited Al Jamhouria hospitals in Aden and  in Sana’a governorates where they observed the process of emergency medical services and utilization of donated equipment as the visiting team  was briefed on the priority needs of the hospitals, including the need for training and capacity building. The team also visited the Nutrition Ward and diarrhoea treatment centre supported by WHO in Al Wehda hospital for Motherhood and Childhood in Aden.

During this visit the delegation was accompanied by WHO Emergency Preparedness and Humanitarian Action Coordinator, Dr Altaf Mohammed and the Emergency Preparedness and Response Director at Ministry of Health, Dr Ali Saryah. 

Dr Laila Fahmi appreciated the efforts of the Minister of Health and its cooperation with the WHO office to be invited to watch the efforts on the ground and get support for hospitals that are in dire need for assistance, as she said, "This comes in implementation of the decisions of the Council of Arab Ministers of Health in the interest of strengthening the health systems in the Arab countries and support the health sector in all directions, as it will achieve the health security of the Arab citizens who we are all keen to achieve as a fundamental human rights. "


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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