High Child mortality in Yemen [Archives:2005/892/Front Page]

November 7 2005

SANA'A – Oct. 31- A recent official report revealed an increase in child death rates during the first part of this year and the previous year as a result of lack of proper health care and insufficient use of vaccination against polio in rural areas and poor urban areas in Yemen.

The research was undertaken by UNICEF in coordination with official bodies in the ministry of health, through which field visits to remote governorates and villages revealed that 107 children out of 1000 die in the rural areas. The report revealed that 78 % of the pregnant women do not undertake any type of medical or child care research prior to delivery because of their illiteracy and non-availability of accessible healthcare centers.

The report warned of the slow or negative improvements in health care, and the need for establishing motherhood and child hood centers in all governorates in order to avoid any increases in child mortality during coming years.

On another front, the spread of polio virus in Yemen surpassed previous periods and estimations in spite of the continuous vaccination campaigns conducted by ministry of health in cooperation with the World health Organization. Indeed, sources at The European Commission said that polio cases in Yemen resemble 40 % of all cases discovered in the world last year, therefore the EU has granted half a million Euros to support concerned bodies in carrying out house to house vaccination campaigns for all children under five, with a target of four million children.

The spread of polio and the new cases were attributed to failure in vaccination processes and the failure to reach the targeted children; as there are remote areas that were not accessible by vaccination teams and the Yemeni ministry of health has no information about.

WHO representative in Sana'a said last August that registered polio cases in the ministry of Health reached 426 cases, resembling almost 75 % of all polio cases in the world, considering that the official data includes all actual cases existent in Yemen.