Restore Vaccination and Health Services in Al Suqia Health Unit, Lahj
The development of the situation in Yemen has cast a dark shadow over the health situation, which has witnessed a remarkable deterioration over the past ten years. This deterioration is evidenced by the spread of epidemics, high mortality rate, lack of medical facilities, shortages of supplies, suspension of employment, and interruption of salaries for health workers and volunteers.
All these reasons have made nearly 20 million people, half of them children, vulnerable to infectious and rampant diseases such as measles, cholera, tuberculosis, malaria, dengue fever, and chikungunya. More recently, an outbreak of polio was announced in Yemen after 15 cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus were reported in the first weeks of August of last year.
Water supply unit stops working
Al-Suqia village is one of the coastal villages of Al-Madaribah Wal Aarah district in Lahj Governorate, where a health unit was established in 1983. Due to the health unit’s lack of medical tools and equipment, decline in the level of allocations and operational expenses, and lack of the necessary medical staff, Al-Suqia health unit was closed in 2011. As a result, nearly 2,000 people were deprived of basic health services, including routine vaccinations for children and women.
Although it was reopened in 2015 to receive the wounded, it remained open after that to provide limited health services by volunteers from the people of the region. Many services have been permanently stopped, including the Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI), which has doubled the suffering of many people in the region, particularly women and children, who face lots of difficulties if they go to health centers and hospitals far from them, as a result of their modest living and economic conditions.
Repeated calls raised by the inhabitants of the region, demanding the necessity of reopening and operating the health unit to contribute to alleviating their suffering and meet the health needs of their patients.
Rehabilitate and upgrade preparedness of the health unit
The Access Enhancement Project prepared the health unit, provided the basic medicines, supplies and necessary medical devices, and delivered the health unit with what is required to receive many sick cases, especially children and women. On February 10, 2021, HUMAN ACCESS began implementing the activities of the access enhancement project for sustainable and effective health services in the governorates of Taiz and Lahj, funded by the Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF) in coordination and cooperation with the Health Cluster and the Ministry of Public Health.
The project aims to provide a minimum service package (MSP) of primary health care services that includes integrated management of child diseases, reproductive health, family planning, and an expanded vaccination program, targeting the displaced and host communities in the target districts. This was achieved by supporting four fixed health facilities with medical supplies and operational costs, delivering services to areas where fixed health facilities do not operate through a mobile medical team, in addition to enhancing the capabilities of health workers through rehabilitation and training, and forming a network of community health volunteers to enhance health education and community awareness.
Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) restored
The Suqia health unit is one of the four health facilities supported by the project to enhance access to sustainable and effective health services, as it began to recover its activities with the beginning of the project's progressive intervention. This recovery brought happiness to the people of the village and those who live around it, as they began to receive the minimum of primary health care services that they used to travel miles to obtain.
After the project team made great efforts in coordination with the health office in the governorate and the district, routine vaccinations were provided to vaccinate children as part of the expanded program of immunization after a final suspension that lasted about a year.
As for the people of the region, they have expressed much joy and happiness as they go to Al-Suqia health unit, and their children receive routine vaccinations through qualified health workers without trouble or hardship. They also expressed sincere feelings of thanks and appreciation for the efforts of the HUMAN ACCESS team and the Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF).