Survey reveals extent of damage to Yemen's health system
Sana'a, 6 November 2016 — More than half of all health facilities in Yemen are closed or partially functioning, and there are critical shortages in medical doctors in more than 40% of all districts, according to a new WHO health system survey.
Final findings from WHO’s Health Resources Availability Mapping System (HeRAMS*) in 16 out of Yemen's 22 governorates show that out of total 3507 surveyed health facilities, only 1579 (45%) are fully functional and accessible, 1343 (38%) are partially functional and 504 (17%) are non-functional. The survey also revealed that 274 health facilities are damaged as a result of the violence, including 69 facilities totally damaged and 205 facilities partially damaged.
There are no medical doctors in 49 out of 276 surveyed districts, and only 2 doctors or less in 42% of surveyed districts. The number of hospital beds available are 6.2 for every 10 000 population, below the international benchmark (at least 10 beds or more for every 10 000 population).
A full package of health care services is fully available in only in 37% of health facilities. Child health and nutrition services are available in 63% of health facilities, while communicable disease management is available in 43% of the surveyed facilities. Services for noncommunicable diseases and mental health conditions are only fully available in 21% of health facilities.
These critical shortages in health services mean that more people are deprived of access to live-saving interventions. Mothers and their newborn babies lack essential antenatal care, skilled birth care and postpartum/postnatal interventions and immunization services. People suffering from acute or chronic conditions are forced to spend more on treatment or forgo treatment altogether. Absence of adequate communicable diseases management increases the risk of outbreaks such cholera, measles, malaria and other endemic diseases.
The ongoing conflict has affected almost all Yemen’s 22 governorates. More than 21 million people are in need of urgent health services, including 2.1 million people who have been internally displaced. As of 25 October 2016, more than 7070 people have been killed and over 36 818 injured, according to health facility-based data.
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* HeRAMS is a tool used by WHO and health cluster partners to assess the availability of services and functionality of health facilities in a context of humanitarian crises.