Free Healthcare Services for Healthier Children

UNICEF has supported the rehabilitation of the infant nursery department of Al-Sadaqa Hospital in Aden governorate, southern Yemen, to provide health care for children and mothers

15 June 2022

Children and mothers need comprehensive health care, including vaccines, medicines, good nutrition, and hygiene. These are basic human rights, without which life cannot thrive, especially in Yemen, a country affected by war and economic struggles. Irregular salary payments and dwindling opportunities have drastically reduced most Yemenis’ purchasing power. 

With funding from generous donors, UNICEF has supported the rehabilitation of the infant nursery department of Al-Sadaqa Hospital in Aden governorate, southern Yemen, to provide health care for children and mothers. Services include health care during pregnancy and after childbirth, vitamins to support lactation, and periodic check-ups to monitor the health of expecting mothers.

This support enables poorer families to access crucial health care, which would otherwise be beyond their reach.

UNICEF support has helped Al-Sadaqa open and restore its previously closed children's section. The hospital now provides nursery services, medicines and supplements, and essential medical care, regardless of the mother’s economic status.  

Amira Hussein Fatini, 20, and her son Hussein Ammar Ayyash, 20 days old.

Amira Hussein Futain came from Dar Saad District to Al-Sadaqa to have her son treated. “After I arrived at the hospital,” she remembers, “they performed tests on my child, put him in the incubator, gave him all the medicines he needed, and checked him every day.”

Medical care and daily follow-ups saved Amira’s son, and she received medical attention as well.

Hussein, 20 days old, is one of the children in the special care nursery at Al-Sadaqa Hospital.

“I cannot afford to treat my children in any other hospital because it costs a lot of money, and I don’t have any. I am so glad that my child is okay, and he will be discharged from the hospital after recovering and receiving the care and treatment needed. This care is not limited to children only. I also did some medical tests and they gave me the necessary medicines, vitamins, and care”, she adds.

Ahlam Mohammed Saeed Salem, 30, a nurse in the hospital’s nursery department, believes that UNICEF support enables vulnerable persons to access necessary treatment and meet their health care needs.

“Every month, we receive about 100 cases,” Ahlam notes. “We have only 18 incubators, which is often too few. We give children the medicines available to us. Vitally important treatments like albumin can be very expensive. Nurses deliver maternal and child care, and raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding, hygiene, and other practices”, she adds.

Ebtisam, 14 days old, at Al-Sadaqa Hospital’s special care nursery.

The program gives special importance to support for premature babies, or preterm infants, and for full-term babies with health complications such as shortness of breath that may require the use of oxygen and incubators. It also delivers maternal care, provides regular examinations for pregnant women until after they give birth, and oversees the delivery of vitamins, medicines, and postnatal examinations. 

Nurse Ahlam Mohammed Saeed Salem conducts a routine examination of 20-day-old Hussein, and changing his clothes.

“We take care of all children who enter our hospital, measuring their vital signs, installing drips, and providing a safe, hygienic environment for newborns”, Ahlam continues. “We also take care of mothers, from pregnant women to nursing women, and promote reproductive health through maternal wellness services and childcare.” 

Between January and May 2022, 500 neonates and 2,880 mothers have accessed lifesaving maternal and newborn health care interventions at Al-Wahda General Teaching Hospital in Aden.