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UNICEF WASH interventions improve quality of health facilities in Yemen

“It seems like a dream! I can now have access to water and clean toilets when I come to the health centre for treatment,” Faisal Abdo, 9 years old from Tur Al Bahah district, Lahj governorate.

By Ali Qasem Ali, Communication Officer, UNICEF Aden Field Office

Lahj, Yemen, 30 January 2019 – Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in health facilities are crucial to ensure quality of care and minimize the risk of infection for visiting patients and their families, as well as for health workers and the communities living in the area. Due to the ongoing conflict, more than half of the health facilities are not functioning in Yemen, which puts an enormous pressure on the remaining ones to provide the population with quality health care services.

In partnership with the World Bank, UNICEF has implemented an integrated project to reinforce the capacity of the national health authorities to deliver high quality of nutrition, health, water and sanitation services in the southern governorates of Abyan and Lahj. In total, 29 rural health centers have been targeted with rehabilitation of WASH facilities (toilets, hand wash basins, sewage systems), installation of 57 water tanks and distribution of more than 2,900 Basic Hygiene Kits to children being treated for severe acute malnutrition in these centers.

UNICEF has also established a waste management system consisting of 22 waste disposal zones. Each zone is being built around three pits (an organic pit, sharp pit and ash pit), to ensure a safe and clean environment inside and in proximity of these health facilities for local communities and prevent infectious diseases, such as cholera or diphtheria, from spreading.

Al Rajah health centre WASH facilities after rehabilitation by UNICEF and the World Bank in Tur Al Bahah district, Lahj governorate.

“I came here with my mother and the doctors are taking care of me,” says Narima Ahmed Saeed,7 years old. 
Narima is being treated from malnutrition in Tur Al Bahah district. “Our village health centre is cleaner than before and we now have water. In the past, I couldn’t enter the toilets because of the lack of water. Thanks to everyone for rehabilitating our health facilities.”

Two water tanks newly installed at Al Mokhaliah health centre, in Lahj governorate, to ensure constant availability of water for the patients and the health workers.

“Before, the health centre wasn’t clean and the waste were disposed everywhere. I couldn’t even wash my hands as the hand-wash basins were broken and there was no water. I am happy that we can all benefit from good facilities today,” Ossan Ahmed, 12 years old holding her brother from Al Ma’amia village in Lahj governorate.

A waste disposal zone with 3 pits was constructed at Al Rajah health centre. It is one of 22 zones that have been built around health facilities to strengthen the waste management system and keep the communities free from diseases.

Al Ma’amia health centre rehabilitated by UNICEF and the World Bank. 550 households are relying on the health centre, to have access to lifesaving health services.

Video: UNICEF rehabilitates WASH facilities in health centers in Yemen



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