A suspected Covid-19 patient being medically inspected at the ICRC-supported Covid-19 care center in Aden. 2021.05.10 Credit: Mubarak Saeed/ICRC

Health Situation in Yemen

The health system in Yemen has been extremely weakened after six years of protracted conflict. About half of the health facilities in the country are out of service while many of the functioning centers have very limited capacities.
Article 05 August 2021 Yemen

Most of the population lack access to health care due to the destruction of the health facilities in their areas or due to lack of financial resources. The availability of health workers in the health facilities is largely dependent on incentives offered by the humanitarian actors to sustain the health services for the population. Any new health crisis adds further strain to the already overstretched and under capacitated health facilities.


Yemen has faced a series of disease outbreaks over recent years, including cholera, diphtheria, and currently, the Covid-19 pandemic, putting the country’s health care system, already strained by years of underinvestment and lack of supplies and equipment for life support, in disarray. Health workers have also faced irregular payments, staffing shortages, and prolonged stress. In addition, many facilities have been damaged, destroyed, or are no longer functional.

More waves of Covid-19 will further exacerbate the humanitarian situation and will add further strain on the already exhausted health staff members and under-equipped health facilities to deal with an increase of Covid-19 patients who would require specialized Covid-19 health care. 


  • 51% of health facilities are functioning and less than 50% of births are attended by skilled health personnel.
  • An estimated 20.1 million people lack access to basic healthcare.
  • In 2020, more than 1 million Yemenis benefited from the ICRC activities in the field of health.
  • The ICRC continues to provide medical material, equipment, and medicines to 53 hospitals, 8 dialysis centers, and 30 primary healthcare clinics across the country, including in Sana'a, Sa’ada, Aden, and Bajil.
  • The ICRC supports the treatment of tens of thousands of war-wounded patients every year and provides services to almost 50,000 people with disabilities.
  • The ICRC also supports an education program for a diploma in Prosthetics and Orthotic in partnership with the High Institute for Health Sciences for 10 students (3 years), and provides a scholarship to study a bachelor's degree in the same field abroad.