WHO: Yemen facing dire health crisis

WHO: Yemen facing dire health crisis
Yemen is facing a severe health crisis with more than 15.2 million lacking access to health care services and a severe funding shortfall, said the WHO in its November report.
2 min read
03 December, 2015
Yemen's health services could collapse completely [Anadolu]

The World Health Organisation has said that more than 15.2 million Yemenis lack access to health care services, said the UN news centre yesterday.

There is also a 55 percent gap in requested international funding to address the crisis in a crisis that has not yet peaked, said the UN agency.

"The intensification of conflict in Yemen since March 2015 has pushed Yemen's already weakened health system to the brink of collapse," said the WHO in its November update on the conflict in Yemen.

"Insecurity, power shortages and a lack of fuel (for generators and ambulances) have led to the closure of almost one in four health facilities. Not only are health workers among the 2.3 million people displaced, but the procurement and distribution of medicines and medical supplies has been disrupted.

     The WHO needs $83 million to address Yemen's health care crisis but has so far received only $37 million.

"In addition, economic factors are taking a toll on the ministry of health's ability to fund the continued operation of health facilities and individuals' ability to pay to access them. As a result, 15.2 million people currently lack access to health care and the conflict looks unlikely to abate any time soon."

The WHO needs $83 million to address Yemen's health care crisis but has so far received only $37 million.

The UN organisation has warned that health services in the country are at breaking point, and could collapse completely if enough support is not received.

There are currently 20 million people in the country that lack access to safe water and sanitation, which means there could easily be an outbreak of a major disease.

Along with the country's health ministry and 22 partner agencies the WHO is aiming to meet 10.3 million of the Yemen's most vulnerable people.

Besides conflict-related injuries, there is also a need to care for those with chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure that are easily treatable but could lead to death if left untreated.

Women and children are seen as being particularly vulnerable to diseases such as measles and polio.

Over the past ten months the WHO has carried out fumigation campaigns to protect 250,000 people from dengue fever, provided intravenous fluids to treat 300 000 people, supported 71 health facilities with medicines, medical supplies and equipment, and delivered 119,000 litres of fuel to maintain uninterrupted services in hospitals and health facilities and support ambulance services.