Yemen | News | Vaccinators, health educators and volunteers in Aden: working enthusiastically with vulnerable groups

Vaccinators, health educators and volunteers in Aden: working enthusiastically with vulnerable groups

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Female_vaccinator.childrenSince 2005, Nadheera Suleiman, a female health educator, has been working vigorously during national immunization campaigns with vulnerable groups such as refugees and marginalized communities.8 December 2014 – Despite lack of proper financial rewards, thousands of dedicated vaccinators, health educators and volunteers in southern Aden governorate devoted their time and energy to conduct a national immunization campaign.

In the recent measles, rubella and polio campaign, which took place from 9 to 20 November 2014, these campaign workers maximized all effort to ensure the success of the campaign in which around half of Yemen’s population were vaccinated against measles and rubella.

For these people, saving lives is the “biggest gain”.

Dealing with vulnerable and high-risk groups can be a complicated process, however, health educators and volunteers were able to change the minds of many susceptible groups who are wary of vaccines.

"They are illiterate people but they are more responsive and cooperative," said Nahwan Al-Aghbari, the head of the health education centre in Aden. "They need someone who talks to them eagerly and convinces them of the importance and effectiveness of these campaigns.”

Many volunteers take initiative themselves to serve during the campaigns without asking for any return. “They are devoted and staunch advocates for the rights of children to be vaccinated.”

Working effectively under enormous pressure, many vaccinators had to deal with a long queues of parents and children during the measles/rubella campaign with some of them vaccinating hundreds of children every day.

In some areas where mountains and bumpy roads represent a serious obstacle to reach areas, vaccinators, accompanied with volunteers and health educators, exert a lot of effort to ensure these areas are reached.

“I feel that I’m working in favour of my children,” said Aref Mahfoodh, a health educator in Aden. “When I care about other children I always think that my own children might be a victim of one of these deadly diseases which we are today vaccinating our children against.”

Despite the security deterioration in Aden and other governorates, vaccinators, health educators and volunteers were determined to reach many tense areas to provide vaccination for children.

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Since 2005, Nadheera Suleiman, a female health educator, has been working vigorously during national immunization campaigns with vulnerable groups such as refugees and marginalized community.Since 2005, Nadheera Suleiman, a female health educator, has been working vigorously during national immunization campaigns with vulnerable groups such as refugees and marginalized communities.

In Charitable Health Clinic in Al-Basatin area of Aden. There were many Somali refugees who brought their children to be vaccinated. Old and young Somalis were also vaccinated. The vaccinator there deal with hundreds of people every day.

At the Charitable Health Clinic in Al-Basatin area of Aden, there were many Somali refugees who brought their children to be vaccinated. Old and young Somalis were also vaccinated. The vaccinator there deals with hundreds of people every day.

In every immunization campaign, Ehab Qaed, a passionate health educator in Al-Moalla district, makes effort to reach steep mountain roads to raise awareness among community in these areas. He has a lively relations with community which sometimes help ease his tasks.

In every immunization campaign, Ehab Qaed, a passionate health educator in Al-Moalla district, makes an effort to reach steep mountain roads to raise awareness among communities in these areas. He has a good relationship with the community which facilitates his work.

In a poverty-stricken Al-Basateen area, a home of thousands of Somali refugees in Aden, health educators raise awareness about the MR campaign in Somali language via loudspeakers and brochure. They have been assisted by people who can speak both Arabic and Somali.

In poverty-stricken Al-Basateen area, home to thousands of Somali refugees in Aden, health educators raise awareness about the measles/rubella campaign in Somali via loudspeakers and through brochures.They have been assisted by people who can speak both Arabic and Somali.

Children in slum areas have been pushed by their parents to get vaccinated. Health educators intensify their efforts to raise awareness in these targeted places where there thousands of refugees and marginalized groups.

Children in slum areas have been pushed by their parents to get vaccinated. Health educators intensify their efforts to raise awareness in these targeted places where there are thousands of refugees and marginalized groups.

Aref Mahfoodh, one of the health educators in Aden, holds awareness sessions and conveys messages around mobile and fixed medical teams. He distributes brochures traveling by car to different neighborhoods explaining significance of immunization against measles and rubella diseases.

Aref Mahfoodh, one of the health educators in Aden, holds awareness sessions and conveys messages around mobile and fixed medical teams. He distributes brochures travelling by car to different neighborhoods explaining the significance of immunization against measles and rubella diseases.

Posters, banners and brochures promoting the campaign have been put and distributed in different areas. Community helped volunteers and health educators do their tasks.

Posters, banners and brochures promoting the campaign have been placed and distributed in different areas. The community helped volunteers and health educators perform their work.

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

See Yemen country profile

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