The EU-funded SSHS project began in June 2014, a few months before major anti-government protests. 2015 marked the beginning of the Yemeni Civil War, a conflict which persists even after the end of the project in February 2018. The ground fighting coupled with the Saudi-led airstrikes resulted in massive civilian causalities and population displacement.
Skilled health care providers became increasingly hard to find, as most with the required education and training fled their homes in search of safety. In this context, the SSHS project played a critical role to support the resilience of the health system and community to respond to the emergency situation.
1,465 health providers and management staff from 20 governorates + Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) benefited from Emergency-response capacity building activities through 59 training courses.
The benefits of this capacity building reached a wide range of health personnel from community volunteers and first responders, to the directors of major hospitals. General practitioners, specialists, nurses, and assistants from various disciplines and departments, gained the updated knowledge and skills necessary to respond to the increasing pressure on the limited capacity of working hospitals.
The beginning of the project was focused on identifying the sector within the MoPHP which was most in need of capacity development. Pre and post training engagement of the curative sector (followed by the Health services sector) were identified as departments that would benefit the most from capacity development assistance. In addition to sector development, the project also improved the coordination between the ministries and the targeted governorates, promoting the stewardship role of the ministry as a result.
Trainees returned back to their health facilities and formed Communities of Practice (CoP) where they used social media to communicate and stay updated, advised and linked with the trainers’ teams and MoPHP relevant departments. Post-training actions started immediately in many facilities, for instance quality improvement teams which started to implement infection prevention procedures.
The MoPHP was engaged at every stage of the project. It participated with the development of the trainings curricula and assisted with the selection of the trainers. During the trainings they supervised and evaluated each course in order to monitor and ensure quality. After the courses they followed up with participants to help implement what they had learned. Additionally, they reviewed and disseminated the course report for participants and other health workers.
There were other organizations and government sectors that engaged with the trainings. For example in a mass casualty drill the civil defense authorities and Yemeni Red Crescent participated and assisted with areas such as first aid, evacuation, transport and triage, and the use and implementation of other practical training materials.
To go along with the implementation of capacity development improvements the project simultaneously focused on the sustainability of the changes being implemented. The project supported the completion and implementation of partnership protocols between MoPHP and two of the main public hospitals in Sana’a. Training approaches and curricula were endorsed for potential expansion with support from other aid agencies in light of the huge need created by the continued conflict.
The emergency-response capacity building covered the most needed topics as identified by the MoPHP. These were:
1. First Aid
2. Fundamental Critical Care Support
3. Basic Trauma Life Support
4. Advance Trauma Life Support
5. Infection Prevention and Medical Waste Management
6. Mass Causality and Disaster Management
7. Management of Patients with Burns
8. Nursing Care of children and Newborns
9. Medical Equipment Preventive Maintenance
No. of training Days
No. of training courses
(1109 Male and 356 female)