It is difficult to recall life before the crisis, yet many Yemenis swear they were happy before the war. Nawal Zain works as an obstetrician at Yemen’s Al Wahda Hospital in Al Husoon. According to the IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, 78,500 people will be relocated from the governorate of Ma’rib alone in 2021. The influx of refugees has put a strain on the governorate’s already strained public health services.
The operating rooms were inoperable when she started working there, the consultation room needed remodeling and lacked a range of equipment, and the hospital lacked sufficient physicians. The hospital, where she has worked for four years, is one of Ma’rib’s only operational health institutions on which displaced people and anyone affected by the war can rely. “The hospital was understaffed, and Ma’rib’s health services were inadequate and unable to meet demand due to the inflow of displaced people,” Dr. Nawal noted.
Yemen’s whole health infrastructure has disintegrated as a result of years of fighting. Only half of the country’s healthcare facilities are operational. The compensation freeze for healthcare professionals has aggravated the situation. Mohammed, like the parents of many displaced families, works hard every day to provide food, water, and medical treatment for his children.
“Because of the fighting, I was compelled to leave my home. My household and I currently reside in Al Hasoon, Ma’rib. We’ve been on the run for almost four years,” Mohammed said. “We didn’t have access to health care, and life was horrible,” the father continued, stressing that his children’s dislocation made it difficult for them to obtain adequate health care before receiving relief.
More than 20 million people require healthcare, but the majority of displaced people face considerable barriers to receiving basic health care. Shabe’e is a community leader in the Al Matar neighborhood. Furthermore, his community lacks access to high-quality medical care.
“The Al Matar Health Unit is the only health facility in the area, servicing around 60,000 people, including displaced refugees and local residents.” “This health center is also frequented by locals from Al Husoon’s outskirts.” Others come from Al Rawdah or Al Jufaina to seek medical attention. “Shabe’e grew in size.
Al Matar Health Unit, like Al Wahda Hospital, has suffered greatly as a result of the massive and expanding demand for healthcare services caused by recent displacement. “At the beginning of 2021, the health unit was not operating at full capacity due to an increase in the number of patients and limited space,” stated Al Matar Health Unit Director Mohsinah Saroun.
The situation quickly deteriorated when the plague struck. “We used to undertake some yard treatments because of the COVID-19 infestation in July,” Mohsina explained. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Union worked to restore Ma’rib’s Al Wahda Hospital and Al Matar Health Unit in response to community requests for health services.
The intervention sites were chosen by the IOM based on a needs assessment to fulfill the critical demand for health care in the communities. “Before this involvement, there was only one physician and we needed the most basic essentials,” Sadam Al-Azani, Deputy Manager of Al Wahda Hospital, remarked.”
The hospital now has an Emergency Obstetric Department, a new nursery, and an operating room, allowing us to undertake surgery on-site, thanks to the IOM’s aid ” he went on. The IOM’s work at Al Wahda Facility also includes the purchase of equipment and furniture, allowing the hospital to take more patients and offer previously unavailable treatments such as gynecological therapy.
The availability of equipment and rehabilitation will improve our quality of life. All supplies, including drugs, have been donated by the organization. Mohammed expressed his appreciation by predicting a brighter future for us. Aside from Al Wahda Hospital, the IOM worked to improve the capacity and services of the Al Matar Health Unit.
Before the reopening of the Al Matar Health Unit, services were inaccessible and inadequate. As a result, the host community discovered insufficient resources, and displaced people arrived to take over these limited services, resulting in a disagreement between the host community and the displaced group about health care options. “The rehabilitation work consisted of building a second floor in accordance with the agreed-upon measures and standards.” All medical equipment and furnishings essential for the unit’s optimal operation, according to IOM Construction Engineer Fawaz Sha’alan, were supplied.
The unit began delivering greater services after the second level was expanded. It also offers women maternity and reproductive care, including family planning and prenatal and postnatal care. This improvement decreased tensions between hosting and displaced groups greatly.
The IOM also aided in the establishment of a laboratory and an internal pharmacy, allowing the health unit to provide better services to both host and displaced populations. “This health facility was crucial to me because all of my family, friends, and displaced people rely on its services,” Mohsinah explained.” Many thanks to the funders and everyone who helped in the renovation and expansion of the second floor.
“This allows us to increase our offers and provide high-quality services,” she added.
In addition to Al Wahda and Al Matar, the International Organization for Migration and the European Union rehabilitated Ma’rib’s Maneen Al Haddad Hospital, three smaller health facilities, and one veterinary facility. This medical intervention impacted 145,866 Ma’rib residents and 14,609 Lahj residents.