Yemen’s COVID-19 outbreak has been catastrophic. The overall case fatality rate remains extremely high at 27%, which is nearly 4X higher than the global average. According to the United Nations, “all indications suggest that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the country. Individuals who are symptomatic are often not seeking testing or treatment until their condition is serious because health facilities are not accessible or local facilities are full or cannot treat patients safely. Other reasons that explain why people are delaying seeking treatment include fear of stigma, concerns about safety, and the perceived risks of seeking care. Even so, the health system is overwhelmed and is in danger of collapsing under the strain of COVID-19.”
The Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation has provided COVID-19 reagents and gloves to all the public health labs in Yemen. The first was in February 2020, being the first organization in Yemen to do so. We sent a second shipment in June and July 2020. We also provided air conditioning to two COVID-19 isolation centers in Hajjah and Hudaydah. We are also providing PPEs to surveillance officers who report COVID-19 cases and conduct contact tracing. Finally, we purchase locally-made masks and distribute them to people who receive our food baskets.