#COVID19: UNICEF Airlifts Test Kits to Yemen As Cases Soar

June 19, 2020
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Today, @UNICEF delivered 10,000 #COVID19 test kits to Yemen, amid an alarming rise in cases. Timely management of confirmed cases will save lives. We are doing everything we can to help protect children and families”–

UNICEF Chief Henrietta Fore.

UNICEF announced the arrival of a first batch of 10,000 COVID-19 tests arriving in Sana’a, Yemen on Thursday. This was revealed in a press release published on the Children’s Rights  Agency’s official website.

The load of test kits were flown into the war ravaged country on a UNICEF-chartered plane. UNICEF has said the tests are aimed at increasing the COVID-19 testing capacity amid the rapid increase of cases in Yemen. An additional shipment of 8,000 tests is expected to arrive in Aden in the coming days.

“These test kits will allow wider testing for COVID-19 across the country and the timely management of confirmed cases to save lives,”– Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF Representative in Yemen.

Nyanti enthused that;
“UNICEF continues to bring critical supplies to Yemen to support the response efforts and protect children and their communities against the pandemic.”

According to the release, UNICEF has shipped over 33,000 N95 respirators, 33,000 face shields, and 18,000 gowns into the country. The Agency began shipping relief equipment since April 10, when the first Covid-19 case was officially confirmed in the Yemen.

“This crucial personal protective equipment (PPE) will support 400 frontline health workers for three months, but only represents five per cent of the COVID-19 supplies that UNICEF requires in Yemen”– UNICEF.

UNICEF posits that COVID-19 is only the latest amongst numerous challenges for families in Yemen.  The dangers to children and their families is further compounded by general low immunity, high levels of malnutrition among children, a lack of regular access to basic services including immunization, and “a devastated healthcare system where only half of the facilities are functional due to conflict”.

UNICEF however lamented that COVID-19 response in Yemen remains severely under-funded. The agency noted that only 10 per cent of UNICEF’s US$53 million funding appeal has been received.

UNICEF went on to seek public assistance, listing essential services that might be unavailable without funding:

  • Providing PPE items, operations, and sensitization support to 30,000 frontline health workers.
  • Establishing and conducting safe screening of patients for continuity of services in 4,000 health facilities.
  • Providing safe water and sanitation services for 900,000 people in isolation centres and quarantine facilities.
  • Improving capacity for oxygen therapy by procuring much-needed oxygen concentrators.

“The generosity of our donors over the years has been truly lifesaving to millions of children. With COVID-19, this generosity is more necessary than ever and will allow us to not only respond to COVID but also to continue doing our vital work for children affected by the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world,” said Nyanti.

“As part of @UNICEF_Yemen’s COVID-19 response we’ve shipped in:
10,000 tests
33,000 N95 respirators
33,000 face shields
18,000 gowns
To reach more health workers and families, we urgently need your support”– UNICEF.

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