Yemen: Extension of EU-funded Health Project

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The European Union (EU) funded and EPOS Health Management implemented ‘Support for Effective Stewardship of the Yemeni Health Sector’ project, aimed at supporting capacity development to create a coordination mechanism that enables the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) to effectively steer its sectors and departments internally as well as lead the subnational governance levels and development partners, recently received a seven month extension.

Launched in June 2014 and initially planned to run through July 2017, the project will continue to provide critical technical support to the MoPHP while operating in the context of a severely disrupted health system since civil war erupted in Yemen in March 2015. The onset of conflict initially curtailed project reform initiatives due to a change in central leadership and instability from ongoing armed conflict.

A critical need for first aid, mass casualty and primary health care capacities, due to  air strikes and violence associated with the conflict as well as a current widespread cholera outbreak, has called for revision of technical assistance to include increased support to the governorate health offices and their corresponding health development councils (HDCs). This increased support focuses primarily on activities that strengthen emergency-response, including training courses on enhancing skills in trauma life support (advance and basic), infection prevention, neonatal care, preparedness and mass causality management.

Since the start of civil war in 2015, the project team and national health care counterparts have been able to implement more than 1,000 capacity building and training activities, delivering emergency health care training and primary health care support services in line with MoPHP measures.

The project extension will enable delivery of important inputs and contribute to preventing the total collapse of the health system as the war-torn country experiences extreme hardship and widespread medical shortages. Activities will include:

•             A scale up of training interventions on emergency-response with adjustments in topics based on learnings of actual practice and better knowledge of targeted populations. Topics like Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care and Community-Based Maternal and Neonatal Care were recognized by the population sector and emphasised during discussions around the upcoming national RH strategy.

•             Support to the ministry in performing realistic coordination and M&E activities and updating HMIS status in targeted governorates in the context of enhancing its stewardship role.

•             Support to the MoPHP (both central and governorate-level) in developing health sector plans for 2018 and introducing elements of conflict-sensitive planning.

•             A roll out of interventions at central level to peripheral level of the health system in the context of supporting HDCs.

•             Continued support to HDCs and local NGOs to enhance sustainability of achieved outcomes and to increase resilience of the local communities.

Further Information - European Union Support to Yemen

The European Union (EU), currently made up of 28 Member States who link together their know-how, resources and destinies, has built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The EU is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders. To this end, the EU has been active in Yemen since 1998 and provides funding for both humanitarian and development assistance. So far, the EU has committed more than EUR 60 million in support of the Yemeni health sector.

System support, even in periods of crisis, allows services to adapt to changing demands, to be better aware and thus better responsive to emerging needs.

In this frame, the cooperation with EPOS Health Management aims to strengthen local and national structures. The ongoing project ‘Support for Effective Stewardship in the Yemeni Health Sector’ aims to create a coordination mechanism that enables the MoPHP to effectively steer its sectors and departments internally as well as lead the subnational governance levels and development partners. EPOS is providing technical assistance through a team of experts who are posted at key functional units of the Ministry to support its stewardship role, and in the governorates.