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Mobile Outreach

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Mobile Health Outreach Services
in Amran, Shabwa and Marib Governorates

March, 2005

Under the auspices of HE the Minister of Public Health and Population Professor Yahia El No'ami, CATALYST Yemen will organize this Saturday March 12, 2005 a ceremony marking the beginning of the mobile outreach services for the Amran, Shabwa and Marib governorates. Health officials and local leaders along with the medical teams will be on hand to receive three mobile team vehicles fully equipped to provide public health preventive and curative services in remote and underserved districts. The schedules for the visits in the three governorates were drawn in consultation with the Public Health Offices and local authorities in the governorates and will undergo a period of tests before finalization.

This new activity is among the many carried out by CATALYST in these three governorates with funding from the United States Agency for International Development. CATALYST is providing vehicles with medical diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound, electro cardiograph and complete kits for providing various services. They will also carry health education equipment such as VCR and TV for organizing community education about various health topics in and around each health center that they visit.

Each vehicle will carry a team composed of one woman doctor and two midwives who will visit up to 20 health centers per month on a regular basis. They will provide needed health services to local populations including for maternal and child health and family planning, will provide support to health staff in remote local centers, refer cases as needed and provide health education services. Most of the health centers selected in various districts of each governorate have no doctor or midwives at the present time and have no medical equipment so this will provide their populations with a periodic and regular source of health care until such time when they can become fully staffed and equipped.

CATALYST and the MOPHP officials are planning to increase the number of mobile teams next year and possibly increase the number of visits from one a month to two or more depending on the demand and the reaction of the local populations. The fact that the team is exclusively composed of qualified female providers and that it has modern equipment and supplies will make it much more attractive for women to seek their assistance especially for women's health issues. Each team member underwent four weeks of intensive theoretical and practical training under the supervision of some of the best medical specialists in Sana'a and will have at their disposal state of the art diagnostic equipment so that the quality of the services they provide in remote areas will be as good as any that is provided in the country.

The MOPHP offices in the three governorates played a key role in providing these teams. CATALYST will assist with the costs of running these mobile teams and the MOPHP will collaborate to keep them supplied with the essential medicines and other supplies. An important challenge will be to ensure that the teams will continue to have logistic support, medicines and adequate support from the local communities to continue their work in the field according to the agreed schedules.

This is an important qualitative step forward for the MOPHP in these governorates and for the CATALYST project activities which started in February 2004. It marks the first time such community based outreach health services are provided in these governorates. This comes right after the first year of the project saw several health centers and district hospitals be refurbished, a few new additions to health centers, new housing for medical staff, new medical equipment and several training activities launched for district and governorate health providers.

CATALYST is just one of the projects that USAID Sana'a is supporting to provide assistance in the health and population sector throughout Yemen with a special focus on a few selected governorates. CATALYST alone invested over 5 million dollars over the span of two years for assistance to Amran, Shabwa and Marib governorates.

photo: The fleet of mobile outreach services on its way to Amran, Marib and Shabwa.

The fleet of mobile outreach services on its way
to Amran, Marib and Shabwa.

photo: One of three groups of new midwives being trained through the CATALYST project to work in remote districts.

One of three groups of new midwives being trained through
the CATALYST project to work in remote districts.

photo: Housing units are being constructed in remote areas to encourage staff to live and work there.

Housing units are being constructed in remote areas
to encourage staff to live and work there.

For more information about CATALYST activities, contact:

Dr.Yahia Al-Babily
Senior Technical Advisor
CATALYST-YEMEN
HHanafi@rhcatalyst.org

USAID/CATALYST Starts its Activities in Yemen

Training to improve emergency obstetric care in the remote districts and governorates.

Increasing the proportion of births attended by a qualified health worker and increasing access to proper emergency obstetric care (EOC) are the keys to reducing maternal mortality.

Event Photo: Opening of The Physicians & Midwives Training to Improve Maternity Services in the Districts Cairo/EgyptA total of 35 Yemeni doctors and midwives have just returned from a two week EOC course in Egypt organized by CATALYST in cooperation with the CATALYST project in Egypt and the University of Ain Shams School of medicine, its hospital and its Regional Center for Training in Cairo.

In cooperation with the health offices in the governorates of Amran, Mareb and Shabwa, the physicians and midwives were selected from the districts where CATALYST has planned interventions. CATALYST also coordinated with ADRA project in Sana'a, to enable 10 health providers to attend the training in Egypt.

They come from the governorates of Saada and El Jawf which are served by USAID Basic Health and Education project. All participants were providers from the field whose training hopefully will translate directly into better services for the populations they serve. To make sure they provide better services these doctors and midwives will soon be getting better facilities and updated equipment from the CATALYST project.

The Yemeni input is crucial in the success of this and all other activities. In this respect, female health workers being a major element in securing the delivery of health care services to women and children, a good effort was made by the governorate health offices to ensure the participation of female workers especially midwives. The families of these midwives have themselves made sacrifices to pay for a family member to accompany their daughter or wife or sister to make her training possible.