SANA’A, 21 Dec 2017 – A World Health Organization-chartered aircraft carrying more than 70 tons of essential medicines and surgical supplies landed in Sana’a Airport today, the largest planeload delivered by WHO to Yemen this year.
The shipment contains trauma kits sufficient to meet the needs of 2000 patients requiring surgical care, as well as various types of rapid diagnostic tests and laboratory reagents to cover the urgent needs of central laboratories and blood banks.
“Together with our partners, we have made tremendous efforts to prevent the collapse of Yemen’s health system, but millions of people remain in dire need of critical health services,” said Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Representative to Yemen.
Despite restrictions, including the recent blockade, WHO continues to fill critical gaps in hospitals and health facilities across the country. Earlier this week, two other planes delivered 26 tons of emergency inter-agency health kits. This year, WHO has provided nearly 1500 metric tons of essential medicines and medical supplies to 96 health facilities that are struggling to keep their doors open.
As the fighting intensifies and the need for trauma care increases, stocks of life-saving supplies to treat the injured are running dangerously low. Laboratories are also struggling to procure the reagents and rapid tests that are crucial to accurately diagnosing emerging infectious diseases. More than 30,000 Yemeni health workers have not received their salaries in over a year, and yet they continue to save lives every day.
According to the 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview, 16.4 million people in 215 districts across Yemen lack adequate access to health care – 9.3 million of whom are in acute need. This presents a drastic increase of 79.3% since late 2014.