As of Tuesday 21st April, midday, the BBC reported that more than 2.5 million cases of Coronavirus were confirmed in 185 countries and at least 170,000 people have died. Many governments around the World have taken measures to minimise the impacts of the outbreak, yet the pandemic has caused harsh economic impact on millions of people due to the lockdown and the fear of the disease.
On this same day, Yemen is still reporting that only 1 case has been identified in Sayon, Hadhramaut on 10th April 2020. The country has been devastated by the war over the last 5 years. The rain and flood swept many parts of the country including Sanaa and Aden. The later rarely gets rain let alone flood. However, the flood today Tuesday 21st. April 2020 was so powerful that it swept many cars, shops, and properties to the sea. The focus of the fighting parties is still on the battlefield and the preparedness for Coronavirus has not been taken seriously in public health terms.
The Yemen Mobile Health (YMH) is contributing to this critical need for the preparedness of Coronavirus in Yemen. YMH is apolitical and its aim is to provide people in Yemen with simple health messages so that they can take actions themselves to prevent themselves and others from catching the disease and to prevent people from rushing to the remaining health services that are not prepared for Coronavirus. We are a group of expertise in public health work in Yemen, communicable diseases and social sciences.
Three and a half months later
As of Monday 3rd August, midday, the BBC reported that more than 18 million cases of Coronavirus were confirmed worldwide and still rising, see fig below.
On this same day Monday 3rd August, based on WHO figures, Yemen reported 1,738 confirmed cases and 498 confirmed deaths in the whole country. The country has been devastated by the war which is in its 6th years. The focus of all the parties in the conflict is on the fighting on the battlefield. Coronavirus seems to be lost amongst all other infectious diseases in the country. People observed that the number of graves have increased dramatically in cities like Aden and Sanaa over the last three months.
To reach as many people in Yemen as possible with health messages on Coronavirus before the outbreak starts.
Producing a series of health messages in text and images to address three key questions below.
- How to avoid Covid-19?
- What are the symptoms of Covid-19?
- What to do if you have symptoms?
The messages have been adapted from well known sources such as UNICEF Yemen, Centre for Disease Control CDC in the US, World Health Organisation WHO, BBC, others have been designed by a Yemeni volunteer based in the US. We will seek the support of these sources or acknowledge them when we use any of their messages. We will recruit local volunteer contributors in Yemen to promote the project and invite interested individuals to join YMH through WhatsApp platform so that we can reach them with the messages. We will broadcast some of these messages on a regular time of the day and follow the responses. We might change the time of the broadcasting if we find out that changing the time is essential. People who join will also be able to search for more information on Coronavirus when they click on our website where we will have links to a wide range of reputable resources. We will collect feedback on these messages to improve the content and the quality of them.
The resources and the links on this section is for the health workers. We will update this section on regular basis, depending on the demand for using this resource.
The three links below from WHO, CDC in US, and Public Health England PHE in UK provide up to date information on Covid-19 and Cholera.