WHO conducts cross line delivery of essential medicines and medical supplies to Taizz enclave, Yemen

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A World Health Organization (WHO) truck carrying more than 8 tonnes of essential medicines and medical supplies has arrived safely in Taizz enclave, Yemen, where more than 350,000 people are in urgent need of health care services. This is the first cross line delivery of essential medicines and medical supplies since the beginning of the conflict.

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The shipment contains trauma kits, emergency medicines, various types of Intravenous fluids and pneumonia kits, complementing a delivery of similar items received  from Aden earlier this week. The supplies will be distributed to the main hospitals in the enclave, including Al-Thawra, Al-Jumhoori, Al-Tawaon and Al-Mothafar. 

Health facilities in the outskirts of the Taiz governorate, equally challenged by the increase of patients due to the influx of internally displaced persons, while struggling with the general decline of health services, also received medicines and medical supplies earlier this week.

“For nearly 2 years, the humanitarian crisis in the Taizz enclave continues to deteriorate, with grave consequences for the health of the population. There is a growing need for life-saving health care services in the enclave, as well as in other parts of the country,” said Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Representative in Yemen.

“Health facilities are increasingly unable to cope with the burden of disease, and this delivery of medicines and medical supplies will alleviate some of this burden for the coming weeks. Further shipments will be required to keep up with the growing health needs of the population.” 

WHO and OCHA are negotiating and advocating on a continuous basis for uninterrupted and unconditional access for distribution of medicines and medical supplies across the country, including for the districts of the Taizz enclave where cross border deliveries are required. 

The breakthrough made with this cross line delivery to the Taiz enclave built on the momentum generated by the visit of the Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien and the Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie Mcgoldrick who visited the governorate on Tuesday. 

Since March 2015, the armed conflict in the Taizz enclave has resulted in the disruption of daily life, including massive damages to houses, health facilities, public and private institutions. The recent fighting along the Red Sea coast has put additional burden on the health services, including those in the enclave due to the influx of internally displaced people seeking refuge from ongoing fighting.

WHO is calling for all warring parties to adhere to international humanitarian law, including safe access to health care for staff and patients and the guaranteed unrestricted delivery of medical supplies and unconditional movement of health workers.