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Services improve at family care health centre in Ibb city, Yemen


By: Meredith Dyson & Sabrin Al-Aghbari

11 March 2019 - The family care health centre, located in Ibb city, in Yemen is one of the more than 1,700 health facilities that is supported by the Emergency Health and Nutrition Project a partnership between UNICEF and the World Bank.

Under the project, UNICEF is providing the health centre with a variety of support, including; medicines, supplies and operational cost in order to stay open to provide preventive services to treat the sick.

Essential primary health care services, including immunization, screening and treatment for malnutrition, treatment of common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia, antenatal and postnatal care for pregnant mothers, and reproductive health services are provided for free in the health facility.

Yasmine Al-Qadasy is a midwife who has been working at family care health centre for 11 years. In the past, she served as the focal point for immunization and reproductive health services. She says “I will retire from this place” – she faces many challenges. “Still, I have a commitment to the work place and will not leave, despite the challenges” she added.

She is now the focal point for nutrition. “Before the project support, I used to see 2 or 3 cases of severely acutely malnourished children per month”, Yasmine said. “l knew that there were more children in need of screening and treatment for acute malnutrition, but I was not able to encourage them to come to the facility due to the lack of the needed therapeutic feeding supplies”.

With the current support, Yasmine has a consistent supply of therapeutic food available to treat both severe and moderate acute malnutrition. She has been educating the communities surrounding the health facility by calling them on the phone, speaking with them during immunization campaigns, and through the routine weekly outreach services, that supplies are now available at the health facility. Since then, the caseload of severely acutely malnourished children she manages has increased five-fold to around 11 cases per month. She also treats over 20 moderately acutely malnourished children per month, whereas before she was not able to offer this service at all. In addition to her education efforts, the patients who are coming to the facility are now spreading the news by word-of-mouth that the supplies are available, resulting in even more increase in the number of people coming to the facility.

“Since the health centre started receiving the operational costs provided by the project, the manager has fixed many things in the facility”, Yasmine added. She noticed a continued improvement in the service delivery at the health facility, helping to meet more needs of the local population and provide a higher quality of services.

Yasmine is also part of a team of four health workers from family care health centre who conduct weekly outreach sessions. Routine outreach is a new service that has been introduced through the support of the Emergency Health and Nutrition Project. Every week, Yasmine and her colleagues select one or two communities that have trouble accessing the facility and bring with them the supplies they need to provide the four-key primary health care services – immunization, treatment of childhood illnesses, screening and treatment for malnutrition, and maternal and newborn health services – to the community.

In partnership with the World Bank -IDA, UNICEF is continuing to provide family care health centre and all other health centres and health units supported by Emergency Health and Nutrition Project with the support required to remain open and provide essential health and nutrition services to all Yemenis.



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