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© UNICEF/UNI187338/Yasin

The situation

The escalation of the conflict in Yemen has left an estimated 14.1 million people, including 7.4 million children, in need of access to health care.

These huge needs come at a time when the health system is on the brink of collapse. Nearly 600 health facilities have stopped working due to damages, lack of supply, electricity, fuel or because the staff have fled. Health facilities have either been partially damaged or completely destroyed by conflict. Several vaccination centers and district vaccine stores are now closed down. Health workers have been killed or injured and many have fled. Medicines and medical equipment are in short supply. Outbreaks of measles and dengue fever show how precarious public health is in the current situation.

UNICEF estimates indicate that over 10,000 additional children under 5 years could have died in the past one year from preventable diseases as a result of decline in key health services such as immunization against vaccine preventable diseases and the treatment of diarrhoea and pneumonia among others.

The estimates also show that 2.5 million children face the threat of diarrhoeal, over 1.3 million children are at risk of acute respiratory tract infections and 2.6 million of them under the age of 15 are at risk of measles.

Without access to basic and obstetric health care, clean water, sanitation facilities, food and shelter, young children and mothers—the most vulnerable of population groups—will succumb to infectious diseases, preventable causes of death and malnutrition in far greater numbers than before.

UNICEF in Action

Using a mix of emergency response strategies, UNICEF and its partners are supporting the public health system to prevent its complete collapse and, where possible, to operate at pre-conflict levels.

In areas with no functioning health centres, integrated mobile teams go in to screen children and women for malnutrition, diseases and pregnancy related complications and provide treatment where possible or refer other cases to facilities.

UNICEF continues to scale up its vaccination services to reach as many children as possible to protect them against Vaccine-Preventable Diseases such as measles, whooping cough, Diphtheria and Pneumonia among others.

Health scale up plan

  • Support the operation of the National Health System.
  • Procure, stockpile and distribute medical supplies to health facilities.
  • Scale up vaccination of children against measles, and polio.
  • Provide primary health care services to children, pregnant and lactating women



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