Marib locals don’t trust their area medical services [Archives:2008/1161/Local News]

May 5 2008

MARIB, June 2 ) A medical field study reveals that most local citizens in Marib governorate, located east of the capital city of Sana'a, choose to obtain their health services outside of their governorate.

“Our results show that the level of public awareness, revenge killings and lack of competent medical staff are the main reasons for most health service expenditures outside of the governorate,” noted Dr. Abdurabu Muftah, general manager of Marib's Health Office.

According to the study conducted by Yemen's Health Ministry and the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, due to a low level of awareness, Marib residents believe the medical services offered in the capital city are the most developed.

They also avoid seeking treatment at their governorate's hospitals because they may become easy targets of revenge killings, which are widespread in Marib.

Marib is the first Yemeni governorate to do this health study.

USAID called on the nation's decision makers to use the study results to come up with appropriate plans and strategies. “We conducted this study and found out that most health service expenditures are spent outside of their true framework. The decision makers now must make use of such studies in order to create the right plans and know the weak points to deal with,” urged Dr. Fuad Al-Sabri, charge d'affaires of USAID's Yemen Parteners for Health Reform Project.

He highlighted the fact that that most government health service expenditures are spent on constructing buildings – Marib governorate has 123 health institutions – while very little is spent on diagnosis.

Thus, because citizens don't find efficient health care, they are compelled to travel to other governorates or even abroad.

In collaboration with donors like USAID and GTZ, the Marib Health Office has enlisted three mobile medical teams to visit each of the governorates 14 districts for one week per month, during which it will provide area residents medical services such as vaccinations, treatments and health education. The team consists of a doctor, two midwives, a health instructor and a health education team consisting of three people.

According to the study's report, organizational, private sector donors and the Yemeni government allocate $16,386,734 – or $66.88 per person – for health care services.

The report further indicated that Yemeni families pay 53.77 percent of health care expenditures, while the government provides 2.49 percent, joined by donors like USAID and GTZ, who provide 7.15 percent.