Health Action in Crises - Highlights No. 269, 24 - 30 Aug 2009
More information can be seen at www.who.int/hac
- The humanitarian community is preparing a Flash Appeal to seek additional financial resources to respond to the crisis The Flash Appeal will include life-saving activities for 150 000 IDPs as well as a large number of indirectly affected populations until December 2009.
Assessments and Events
- The number of IDPs fleeing affected areas is rising. On 25 August, 18 000 IDPs were reported in Sa'ada, 2000 and 4000 respectively in Amran and Al-Jouf governorates and 15 000 in Baqim governorate, on the Saudi border.
- Authorities have set up a camp for 3500 people in Al-Hajjah governorate, halfway between Sa'ada city and Haradh (Hajjah). A second camp will be ready to accommodate an equal number of people within a week in Kheiwa (Amran).
- Meanwhile, the situation for the people remaining behind is worsening. Most public health programmes have been discontinued while many health facilities have either closed down or become inaccessible to users or health staff.
- In Amran governorate, a WHO/WFP/UNHCR rapid assessment to Al-Khawlan and Al-Khamer areas show that the capacity of health units and referral hospitals to provide health care needs to be enhanced by:
- supporting diagnostic capacity for malaria and other conditions,
- establishing an early warning system for disease surveillance,
- providing essential medicines and supplies,
- training health staff on communicable diseases and malnutrition case management;
- Outbreaks of epidemic-prone diseases, such as malaria, diarrheal diseases or measles, are a serious threat among IDPs. Rapid diagnostic testing in Haradh (Al-Hajjah governorate) show a high burden of malaria.
- In Al-Jouf governorate , the IDPs' living conditions are reportedly very difficult: most are destitute and lack shelter, food and access to health and social services. Assistance should be provided to IDP as well as host communities.
- The Government is preparing a comprehensive assistance plan and coordinating the distribution of roles and responsibilities with humanitarian partners.
- A joint government/UN mission was organized to Amran governorate on 24 August, including the UN Resident Coordinator, the Minister of Health, WHO, UNICEF, WFP and UNHCR. The team met with the Governor and Deputy Governor, members of local council and representatives of other governmental sectors and visited the newly designated site for the camp in Al-Khawlan area.
- WHO dispatched medical supplies to cover 100 surgical interventions and treat 500 severe diarrhoea cases. Additional medicines and supplies purchased locally were also dispatched. A mobile team was also mobilized through MoPH/WHO to provide comprehensive health care to the IDPs.
- Four additional emergency trauma kits funded by Italy have been released from the humanitarian depot in Bridinsi. They can support 700 surgical interventions.
- In Al Hajjah governorate, the MoPH in collaboration with WHO, dispatched a team to Haradh to assess the malaria situation among IDPs. The team distributed 700 long lasting insecticide treated bed nets to the IDPs scattered in Al Mazarak and began dispensing rapid malaria diagnostic tests to all suspected cases and providing anti malaria treatment.
- WHO, the MoPH and the MoH Office in Al-Jouf governorate are planning a rapid assessment mission to Al-Jouf and the deployment of a mobile health unit.
- WHO's emergency operations are funded by Italy, Andorra and the CERF. HAC is seeking donor support for this new crisis.