The ongoing conflict in Yemen blocks access to health care and clean water, especially for Yemenis forced from their homes by the violence. More than 2.4 million people – about the population of Chicago – are in need of basic medical attention and nutritional screening. To meet this need, Relief International with funding from UNICEF deploys mobile medical units (MMUs) in Hajjah and Sana’a governorates. Hajjah and Sana’a are both very populous areas that face frequent airstrikes, making it difficult for residents to travel to get health care.
MMUs travel to them, vaccinating children against measles, polio, hepatitis B and yellow fever. To address malnutrition in children under five, vitamins and supplements are also distributed. Reproductive and maternal health services are also offered, including birth-planning workshops, post-natal care lessons and the distribution of safe delivery kits. Household hygiene kits, which include basic items such as soap, toothbrushes and a water bucket, were distributed to help families maintain their health and hygiene, even while displaced.
This project worked within the community by partnering with the Yemen Family Care Association (YCFA), an organization focusing on health and reproductive needs since 1976. YCFA previously established community programs in Hajjah and Sana’a governorates. The organization also has experience running and operating MMUs with doctors, nurses, midwives and community health workers.
The partnership trains Yemeni people to provide medical care, the community can improve its own health care system despite disruptive violence and malnutrition.