Sa'ada province, As-Safra district, Dammaj. People wash their hands before an ICRC food distribution to 1,300 displaced families. Saif ALOLIBY/ICRC

COVID-19: Our response in Yemen

Our priority is to keep helping people affected by the armed conflict while taking all COVID-19 preventive measures possible. However, in a country with only half of its health care facilities functioning, the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen, along with the Yemen Red Crescent, has been working in spreading awareness and supporting different institutions on COVID-19 prevention and response.
Article 01 July 2020 Yemen

Besides our regular activities focused on alleviating the suffering of people affected by the conflict, we have been conducting – and hope to increase – public awareness COVID-19 campaigns.

We have been conducting training sessions on proper hygiene, including in detention centres. Our work also includes distribution of cleaning and personal hygiene items to ICRC-supported hospitals and primary health care centres, detention facilities and people who are in quarantine or displaced. We also disseminate information about preventative measures through social media, call centre and audio spots.

In quarantine facilities:

(facilities that have been set up by the authorities to quarantine people crossing borders to keep a check on COVID-19 infections)

The ICRC is working with the Yemen Red Crescent to improve the conditions of people in quarantine places through:

  • Improving access to health care with the donation of medicines and medical equipment such as gloves, compresses, bandages, etc. for 3,000 people in quarantine in Radaa and Affar in Al-Bayda governorate. 
  • Improving hygiene by providing personal hygiene items for 4,000 people in seven quarantine facilities. 
  • Improving general living conditions by providing more than 5,000 sets of waste management items and over 400 sets of hygiene materials (bags, buckets, shovels, disinfectant, etc) and almost 9,500 sets of house items as blankets, sleeping bags, mosquito nets and cooking items in 18 quarantine facilities

In isolation centres:

(Centres that have been identified or set up by the authorities to isolate COVID-19 patients with everything from mild to severe symptoms depending on the capacity of the designated facility to reduce the spread of the virus and to provide health care)

  •  The ICRC supported an isolation center in Hodeida city with cleaning materials.
  •  The ICRC supported furnishing Al Amal center in Aden (ICU capacity), with 30 patient lockers, 30 mattresses, 60 bedsheets, 30 blankets, and provided hygiene materials including chlorine tablets and a 250kva generator.
  •  The ICRC is providing food assistance for up to 50 patients since over a month to the two centres in Aden (ICU beds).

In places of detention:

  • The ICRC health staff conducted awareness sessions on COVID-19 precautionary measures inside 51 places of detention in the Hodeida, Raymah, Sana’a, Amanat al-Asima, Ibb, al-Baydha, Taiz, Mareb, al-Jawf, Saada, Hajja, Lahj, Abyan, al-Dhalea, and Aden. Prison workers attended this session as well as prisoners, when possible. 
  • The ICRC donated medical supplies to 29 places of detention in Hodeida, Raymah, Sana’a, Amanat al-Asima, Ibb, al-Baydha, Taiz, Saada Hajja, Lahj, Abyan, al-Dhalea, and Aden. 
  • The ICRC enhanced access to clean water, set up handwashing sinks, improved sewage systems, and distributed hygiene material at two places of detention benefiting 4,900 detainees
  • The ICRC rehabilitated and donated material for two kitchens in two places of detention, benefiting 3,700 detainees
  • The ICRC donated personal hygiene items like soap to detainees, cleaning material, and waste management products to the authorities. Prison workers were also given protective items such as gloves and face masks. In addition to that, handwashing points have been put in place.
  • These interventions took place in 51 places of detention in Hodeida, Raymah, Sana’a, Amanat al-Asima, Ibb, al-Baydha, Taiz, Mareb, al-Jawf, Saada, Hajja, Lahj, Abyan, al-Dhalea, Aden.

In health care facilities:

  • Distributed a total of 25,000 pairs of examination gloves, and 500 surgical gowns to 502 health staff working in ICRC supported facilities in Sana’a, Marib, Al-Maweet and Al-Bayada governorates. The ICRC provided gloves, face masks, and gowns in Sa’ada, Amran and Qutai and Dialysis centers in Hajja and Hodeida. This was in addition to a range of personnel hygiene items and disinfectants to keep the centres clean.
  • The ICRC donated and installed tents for isolation wards, for the screening of patients and to reduce the number of people coming inside health facilities in Sa’ada at Al Tahl hospital, in Aden and surrounding governorates.
  • The ICRC donated 4,000 chlorine tablets to Bajil hospital, enough to disinfect water for up to three months.
  •  The ICRC health staff carried out six workshops with management teams of its supported health facilities in Sana’a and Al-Bayda governorate on how to use personal protective equipment (PPE), how to manage a suspected case, how to disinfect the health facility.