Emergency Health and Nutrition Project saves lives in Yemen
29 December 2019 – In Yemen, a country torn apart by war, those seeking medical help often struggle to receive proper and effective treatment. One reason is that much hospital equipment needs replacing. For example, in the central sterile supply department of Al-Thawra hospital, Sana'a, the equipment was until recently so old that the sterilization of instruments would take hours instead of minutes, causing the delay or cancellation of critical surgical operations. But thanks to the support given by the World Bank to the Emergency Health and Nutrition Project, Al-Thawra hospital now has the updated sterilization equipment it so desperately needed.
“The number of patients in Al-Thawra hospital benefiting from this support is 3000 to 4000 beneficiaries on a monthly basis. With approximately 120 to 130 operations a day in 26 medical departments, some of these operations need to go through the sterilization process in 16 minutes, but the sterilization equipment was very old, resulting in the delay or cancellation of operations. The new sterilization equipment can sterilize in 16 minutes, saving lives through the performance of urgent surgeries without delay”, says Mansor Kuhazah, manager of the central sterile supply department of Al-Thawrah hospital.
Without proper sterilization, patients are at risk of infection. Millions of patients are harmed each year due to unsafe health care worldwide resulting in 2.6 million deaths annually in low-and middle-income countries alone. Most of these deaths are avoidable.
“Now the central sterile supply department of Al-Thawra hospital is in a position to sterilize plastic and instruments rapidly due to the modern sterilization equipment provided by WHO through the Emergency Health and Nutrition Project”, says Engineer Mohammed Nofal, responsible for the rehabilitation of the central sterile supply department of the hospital.
Through the Emergency Health and Nutrition Project, WHO and UNICEF, with the support of the World Bank, are meeting health needs and expectations in Yemen. The Project is a cross-cutting initiative, providing essential health and nutrition services throughout the country. In the midst of the ongoing war, the Project is protecting Yemen's health system, supporting 72 hospitals with a package of essential life-saving health services. WHO, UNICEF and the World Bank are also working closely together to strengthen the referral system from the primary and secondary health care levels to the tertiary level. In addition, the Project supports public health programmes and the response to disease outbreaks such as cholera and diphtheria.