Amran General Hospital is the largest provider of public health services in the governorate. Nonetheless, as a result of conflict, more than half of its facilities had ceased to function, lacking properly-trained health staff, among other things.
Head Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit, Fatima Al-Ma'khadi had always dreamt of wearing a white medical coat. However, she says, when she first began to work as a nurse at Amran General Hospital, “I realized that I was not qualified to do anything more than just administering injections.”
In addition, she says, “I remember being very embarrassed when patients would ask for my help with medicines prescribed by doctors because I don't understand English.”
Another Nurse, Altaf describes a similar experience. Having initially served as a volunteer at the hospital, she says, "I enjoyed my work. However, I had great difficulty and I wanted to study more and improve my skills.” Specifically, she wanted to finish high school and attend university, but lacked the financial resources to do so.
War and internal-displacement in Yemen has led to a large and dramatic increase of people requiring medical care, putting excess pressure on health facilities. Since the outbreak of conflict in 2015, the number of hospital inpatients increased from an average of 60 to 800 per day. Because it was subsidized, the Amran General Hospital was the location of choice for the nation’s poorest. However, it was under-funded, ill-equipped and poorly-staffed.
"The nursing staff in the hospital weren't well-enough equipped," confirms hospital director, Dr. Abdulghani Murshid. The hospital was therefore unable to cope with the volume and needs of patients, and referred most intensive care patients to hospitals in the nation’s capital, Sana’a.
To help the hospital meet growing patient needs, the Yemen Emergency Crisis Response Project (YECRP) engaged the Social Fund for Development (SFD) to conduct training for 27 nurses, constructed a new intensive care unit, and established a neonatal intensive care unit with 19 incubators.
“I felt very happy when I heard that the Sustainable Fund for Development would implement a project to train nurses in the hospital to obtain a high nursing diploma," says Fatima. "Our skills and knowledge have improved day by day. Now I know how to operate medical devices; and I can read and write medical reports in English.”
Her colleague, Altaf is now Head Nurse in the Neonatal Unit – a unit that now treats up to 60 cases, each day.
Says Dr. Murshid, "We feel that beneficiaries in the hospital are very satisfied. The number of patients has increased by more than 40 per cent since the training courses (and) we are saving lives in this tragic situation.”
Funded by USAID, the Yemen Emergency Crisis Response Project (YECRP) is implemented by UNDP, in partnership with the Social Fund for Development (SFD). This US$11.2 million project creates life and work opportunities for the most vulnerable groups with a view to make households stronger, better able to cope, and capable of assisting and contributing to their communities.