WHO and KSRelief work together to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in Yemen
WHO And KSRelief Partner Up To Improve WASH Services In Yemen
CAIRO, 05 January 2021- The World Health Organization (WHO) and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) are working together to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in targeted health facilities and water quality monitoring and surveillance in Cholera high-risk districts.
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Through a new US$ 7 million award, a joint project will provide improved access and enhanced provision of water, sanitation and hygiene services to 45 healthcare facilities all over Yemen which had been identified with the most acute needs by the Health Cluster and the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan.
Improved and safe management of health care waste practices will be implemented in 117 health facilities and 100 Diarrhea Treatment Centers (DTCs) to prevent bloodborne and hospital-acquired infections, including COVID-19.
Water quality surveillance will be conducted with the provision of potable water quality testing kits in 33 cholera high-risk districts. Three regional water quality testing laboratories will be established in vulnerable areas to ensure the availability of a safe water supply.
Strengthening Infection Control Practices
"Improved WASH services at the hospital level will allow the functionality of preventative health programs including new-born care, elimination of childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea and control of cholera," said Dr Adham Ismail, WHO representative in Yemen. "Through strengthening infection control practices and training healthcare personnel on safe waste management practices, the project will help enhance safe and environmentally sound management of health care waste and prevent adverse health and environmental impacts", he added.
Overall, the project will benefit over 653,000 people in priority cholera high-risk districts across Yemen.
The partnership is part of a broader US$ 46 million agreement between the two organizations, signed in September 2020, that also included three other projects on COVID-19 preparedness and response, nutrition, and the delivery of essential health services.
KSRelief has been the main funding partner of WHO Yemen in 2019–2020. Since October 2019, the partnership between the two organizations has helped preserve Yemen's health system, including through support to the most vulnerable. Continuous support from KSRelief has allowed WHO to facilitate the provision of life-saving medicines, including treatment for patients with chronic, life-threatening conditions, such as kidney failure. The partnership has also supported child immunization programmes and assistance to pregnant women for safe birth deliveries.
Note to editors about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen
Yemen remains the world's worst humanitarian crisis and the WHO's most complex operation. Some 24.3 million people – 80% of the population – now require humanitarian assistance or protection.
The health system is on the brink of collapse. More than 17.9 million people (out of the total population of 30 million) needed health care services in 2020. At the same time, only half of the health facilities are fully functioning. Those that remain open lack qualified health staff, essential medicines and medical equipment, such as masks, gloves, oxygen and other necessary supplies.