Yemen | News | Workshop on measles and acute flaccid paralysis status concludes in Sana'a

Workshop on measles and acute flaccid paralysis status concludes in Sana'a

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Sanaa_workshop_AFPSana'a, 27 November 2016 — The Ministry of Public Health and Population, in cooperation with WHO, concluded today in Sana'a a 2-day workshop on evaluating and reviewing the measles/rubella and acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) status in Yemen, with the attendance of measles and AFP surveillance coordinators from all Yemen's 23 governorates.

The workshop aimed at formulating a contingency plan for the next year to ensure early detection of outbreaks and assessing the performance of surveillance for measles and rubella.

AFP_workshopThe workshop came as increased cases of measles have been reported in Sa'ada, Amran, Sayoun and Al-Mahra governorates. Total number of suspected cases reached 2780, of which 122 cases were classified as measles cases. 3 deaths of measles have been reported from Sa'adah, Sayeun and Al-Mahara governorates.

Dr Akjemal Magtymova, the Deputy Representative for WHO Yemen, reaffirmed the commitment of WHO in supporting epidemiological surveillance activities to contain communicable diseases and prevent outbreaks in Yemen.

"Robust epidemiological surveillance system is essential to detect, report and confront outbreaks. Strengthening surveillance system is at the core of the WHO commitment in collaboration with  the Ministry of Health," said Dr Magtymova.

Since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015, working with the Ministry of Public Health and Population, WHO has scaled the surveillance system up in all Yemen's governorates, with sentinel sites expanded from 408 health facilities in 16 governorates to over 1200 facilities in 23 governorates to improve the speed and efficiency of data collection, analysis and public health response.

Dr Nada Taqi, the National Coordinator of the measles/rubella programme of the Ministry of Public Health and Population said that the increased number of measle cases requires immediate intervention and concerted efforts between surveillance, laboratory and immunization teams.

"Current conflict and security deterioration haven't prevented us from carrying on our duties to curb outbreak of measles and other diseases. We have expanded our sentinel sites and trained more teams to be capable of confronting outbreaks more effectively," said Dr Taqi.

The escalation of the conflict in Yemen has affected the functionality of the electronic disease early warning system (eDEWS), which serves as a significant tool for detecting, reporting and responding rapidly to alerts that could indicate outbreaks and epidemic-prone diseases.

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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