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Yemen in Crisis: getting urgent medical support to pregnant women

Yemen is facing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world with four in every five people in desperate need of humanitarian support. However, thanks to your generosity, we are providing essential medical support to women like Iqbal and Saeeda, who have safely given birth during this conflict. Read their inspiring stories.

Pregnant women in Yemen are battling famine and security threats on a daily basis. Pregnant women in Yemen are battling famine and security threats on a daily basis.

Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers in Yemen are facing huge risks when they give birth in this country that has been brought to its knees by conflict. For these women, there is an increased risk of death and severe complications during childbirth due to a lack of access to essential healthcare and food in the war-torn region. 

Yemen is undeniably the worst humanitarian crisis in the world at present with 81% of the 30 million population in daily need of humanitarian support. Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children are incredibly vulnerable in a country where over 20 million are currently without a regular food supply.  

Pregnant, Hungry and Living in a Tent…Iqbal’s Story of Survival in Yemen

Iqbal is 20 years old and gave birth to her first child – a baby boy – in a clinic in Imran, a small town south of the country’s capital. Her birth was a complicated one. Experiencing extreme pain and discomfort, she came to a health clinic supported by Trócaire, and then went into labour.  

The clinic midwife examined her and saw that the baby’s heartbeat was very weak. The diagnosis was an obstruction of labour and she was rushed to a hospital in the capital, Aden to get an operation. Thankfully, she gave birth safely 

Iqbal is one of the many internally displaced people who were forced to leave their homes due to conflict. Her family had to flee their city of Taiz, and now live in a makeshift camp for displaced people.  

Iqbal’s family struggle with essential needs – basic shelter, food and water. The tent they live in leaks when it rains and doesn’t protect them from colder temperatures. Work is not always available for her husband and the money he earns is all the family can depend on. 

Iqbal’s needs are simple: “I only wish to have a safe place to live and have food for my family”. 

Yemeni women like Iqbal are giving birth in makeshift tents without food, water or medical support. Yemeni women like Iqbal are giving birth in makeshift tents without food, water or medical support.

Saeeda Gave Birth iThe Dark with NElectricity 

Saeeda is another woman in Yemen familiar with the devastating effects of conflict.  

She was also provided with care by our clinic in Imran, where she gave birth to her daughter Fatima 

Luckily, everything went well and there were no complications with the delivery, apart from one challenge – there was no electricity and both she and the staff had to resort to portable lights 

Saeeda is overjoyed with the safe birth of her daughter and is incredibly grateful for the service that was provided – medical care, personal hygiene products and the support of a midwife.  

For many, like Saeeda, seeking outside healthcare services is impossible due to financial constraintsPeople lack money to pay for the transport and the cost of basic services in other clinics.  

One Million Pregnant Women Malnourished in Yemen

Food shortages have left an estimated one million pregnant women malnourished and threaten the lives of 144,000 women who are likely to develop complications during childbirth.  

Malnutrition is widespread in Yemen and further increases the demand and pressure for medical services. Less than 50% of health facilities across the country are fully functional. Those that are operational lack specialists, equipment, medical supplies and medicines. 

Currently, more than half of Yemeni people lack access to even basic healthcare, with 14 million of these in need of critical care. Pregnant and breast-feeding women and children account for most of this figure. Mothers struggle to keep themselves and their babies alive due to the lack of healthcare services available to them. These women are far from home, hungry, tired and giving birth alone. 

How is Trócaire Helping Women in Yemen?

Thanks to your generous support, Trócaire is responding to the devastating situation in Yemen, working through the local church and other aid agencies to respond to this catastrophic crisis. We are supporting the work of Caritas Internationalis and providing life-saving essential support for women in Yemen. 

This project aims to save lives through getting people to access very much needed health services and providing safe and sufficient water and sanitation. Along with our local partners, we are supporting health clinics and pharmacies to provide vital care and to restock medicines and supplies. 

The needs are huge and the situation on the ground is heartbreaking. Yet thanks to your donations to Trócaire, we can support the safe delivery of babies and provide hope to women like Iqbal and Saeeda. 

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