Humanitarian Crisis

Direct Relief Bolsters Yemeni Hospitals with Much-Needed Medicines

Supplies to help healthcare workers treat cholera cases, infections and other emergencies were shipped to Yemen on June 15. An emergency health kit, pictured here, was also sent. The kit contains enough medicines and supplies to treat 1,000 patients for 30 days.  (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief photo)
Supplies to help healthcare workers treat cholera cases, infections and other emergencies were shipped to Yemen on June 15. An emergency health kit, pictured here, was also sent. The kit contains enough medicines and supplies to treat 1,000 patients for 30 days. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief photo)

Almost 5,000 pounds of medical aid from Direct Relief was sent to Yemen last week, including critical medicines and supplies requested by healthcare workers on the frontlines of the war-torn country.

Two Yemeni hospitals will receive the items, many of which are critical medicines useful for treating cases of cholera, a disease that has increased exponentially over the last several months.

As of June 13, almost 130,000 suspected cholera cases have been registered across the country, a number that could double over the next six months.

The number of suspected cholera cases continues to escalate at an “unprecedented” level, according to the World Health Organization.

The country has seen outbreaks of the disease, which results from poor sanitation and lack of access to clean water. Lack of access to healthcare, political instability, damaged infrastructure and famine have all contributed to the spread of the disease.

One of the hospitals receiving half of Direct Relief’s shipment is Amran Hospital, where health staff reported to Direct Relief their highest concern is treating the cholera cases that come through their doors.

Patients with infections and emergency traumas were also being treated in high numbers at the hospital.

Al-Salakhanah Hospital, where the other half of the shipment will go, also reported cholera cases as their top concern, as well as malaria, dengue fever, traumas and severe malnutrition.

To deal with these health concerns, Direct Relief’s shipment contains two Cholera Treatment Kits, each of which contain items like antibiotics, IV solutions, and water purification supplies.

Each kit will enable hospital staff to treat 100 cholera patients.

Hospital staff also specifically requested fetal dopplers to help monitor the heartbeats of unborn babies. Direct Relief sent six of the machines, which are powered by rechargeable batteries. Because power is also a concern, a solar suitcase has also been included in the shipment.

Hospitals like the two receiving this latest shipment are administering daily care to Yemenis in the midst of dire humanitarian crisis. Many hospitals in the country are not functional, placing enormous pressure on hospitals with their doors still open.

Over 17 million people in Yemen face high levels of food insecurity. The famine has been coupled with political disruption, making aid direly needed but difficult to get into the country, with the airport into the country’s capital destroyed during the ongoing conflict.

Direct Relief has partnered with Save the Children Yemen to get medical aid into the country, and sent a shipment in early March full of critical medicines and supplies, which went to Sana’a Governorate Alghemhori Hospital to assist providers treating patients. That shipment was taken into the country on a World Food Programme flight from neighboring Djibouti, a route providing safe passage.

Save the Children has reached nearly 1.1 million people in Yemen, delivering vital medical supplies among other resources to those who need them most, and Direct Relief will continue to support the group.

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