Government of Japan and WHO strengthen emergency response to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in Yemen

30 March 2020 – It is the continuous support and contributions of partners like the Government of Japan that allow the World Health Organization (WHO) to serve the people of Yemen in the best way possible.

The generous funding from the Government of Japan ensures that more than 7 million Yemenis will have increased access to essential health care, and at the same time, ensure urgent treatment is given to patients suffering from communicable diseases.

Another priority addressed through these funds is infectious disease prevention and control by building capacity of national staff to prepare for and respond to epidemic-prone diseases through field epidemiology training, making the rapid detection and response to epidemics a reality.

Disease surveillance a priority in Yemen

In countries like Yemen, where health capacity in terms of functionality, availability and health care workforce capacity remains an issue, disease surveillance and early warning systems are a must. Due to the breakdown in basic civic and health infrastructure, Yemen has become home to treatable diseases, which, due to context can turn into serious health threats for a population that has been chronically malnourished for years.

“Thanks to the Government of Japan, WHO can buy life-saving medicine for immediate distribution to treat diphtheria and dengue. WHO will also be able to build the capacity of doctors and nurses, to manage dengue cases, increasing the cure rate,” says Altaf Musani, WHO Representative in Yemen.

Weakened immune systems, make the average Yemeni more susceptible to infectious diseases that are otherwise preventable, through vaccines or other treatments. As the conflicts drags on, exacerbating factors such as damaged water supply infrastructure, inadequate sanitation, low vaccination coverage, a fragile health system and population movement, will be some of the issues that WHO and its partners will continue to address through the lens of health.

The Government of Japan has played a critical role in supporting WHO’s humanitarian response in Yemen, donating more than US$ 11.2 million between 2015 and 2019. These generous contributions from the have enabled WHO to provide much needed life-saving health services.

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