Yemen | News | WHO steps in to support Yemen’s blood transfusion centres

WHO steps in to support Yemen’s blood transfusion centres

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10 August 2017, Sana’a -- The World Health Organization (WHO) is scaling up its support for the supply of safe blood products in Yemen. In early June, in agreement with Médecins Sans Frontières, WHO committed to provide immediate and long-term support to the National Blood Transfusion and Research Centre.

Thanks to the Organization’s strategic partnership with the World Bank, this support is going to be expanded to 7 peripheral blood transfusion centres. Four of these centres had previously closed due to a shortage of supplies but will soon be reopened. An international procurement of blood bags, consumables and reagents is on its way, sufficient to meet the needs of all 8 blood transfusion centres through to the end of 2018.

To fill immediate gaps and avoid any disruption of services, WHO provided 3 months’ worth of supplies to the national blood transfusion centre in June 2017, and is expecting to deliver further supplies next week.

The Organization is also working with the local health authorities on advance planning to meet the needs in 2019.

The challenges facing the national blood transfusion centre are symptomatic of the challenges facing the entire health system in Yemen today. More than half of health facilities have closed or are only partially functioning. Some 285 health facilities have been partially damaged and 72 fully damaged by conflict since 2010. But many more have closed because they have received no money for the payment of operational costs or for salaries since September 2016. A solution must be found for the payment of operational costs and health worker salaries.

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Médecins Sans Frontières

World Bank

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 25 235
Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure) 3.9
Primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 1.5
Life expectancy 65.7

Source: Country statistical profiles 2017

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Regional Health Observatory

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Sana'a