ABU DHABI: The UAE has provided the Yemeni health sector with financial assistance amounting to Dh502 million (around $137 million) from 2015-2017, to support its medical and health services in emergency cases, combat contagious diseases and provide basic health care, as well as to train heath sector employees.
This is within the framework of the UAE’s desire to support the health situation in Yemen and promote its health, water and sewage sectors, which directly affect the lives of its people.
From April 2015 to April 2017, the UAE has provided financial assistance to Yemen exceeding $2 billion to help more than 10 million Yemeni people, including four million children.
According to a report issued Tuesday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, this assistance included building and restoring 40 hospitals, health centres and specialised centres, as well as providing medication, medical equipment and devices and ambulances in the governorates of Aden, Lahij, Dhale, Abyan, Hadramut, Shabwa, Ma’rib, Taiz, Al Hudaida and Socotra island.
For the water and sanitation sector, the UAE has provided assistance currently amounting to Dh56.1 million (around $15.2 million), to support water and sewage services and provide drinkable water supplies by digging wells and restoring drinkable water networks, as well as to support waste management and restore sewage networks.
The UAE has been cooperating with the World Health Organisation, WHO, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, since 2016, to provide health services and water in cities and villages in Yemen.
The WHO declared that 51 people in Yemen have died from cholera since last April, with around 2,752 current suspected cases.
Last October, the Public Health and Population Ministry in Yemen declared several cases of cholera in several regions, while the WHO announced that around 7.6 million Yemeni people are living in areas facing the threat of cholera infection.
The WHO has cooperated with Yemeni health authorities in the distribution of essential medication and medical supplies, as well as equipping medical facilities that include 10 new health centres in affected areas.
Cases of cholera have appeared in several Yemeni governorates, including Hajjah, Al Hudaydah, Abyan, Sana’a, Mahweet, Dhamar, Ibb, Jouf, Taiz and Aden.
The rise in cases of cholera in Yemen is due to the deteriorating health care system from two years of conflict, after the coup by Al Houthi and Saleh militias that contributed to the deterioration of its main infrastructure, including water and sewage facilities, leading to the spread of diarrhoea. The weather also played a major role as warm weather can contribute to the spread of cholera infection, as well as large amounts of waste that were recently submerged by heavy rains.
Cholera is transmitted through food or drinking water that might be contaminated with bacteria, leading to severe diarrhoea that can result in death if untreated.