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Sexual and Reproductive Health

UNFPA estimates that more than six million women and girls of childbearing age need support. Rising 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, including risk of stunted growth of their newborns.

In a country with a maternal mortality ratio of 385 deaths per 100,000 live births according to 2015 UN estimates, being the highest rate in the Arab region, the lack of food, eroding healthcare, worsened by epidemics such as cholera and diphtheria, can mean an increase in premature or low-birth weight babies and severe postpartum bleeding.  

Nearly half of the health facilities are not functioning or only partially functioning. Only one-third of the functioning health facilities provide reproductive health services due to staff shortages, lack of supplies, inability to meet operational costs or damaged due to conflict. Equipment and medical supplies are inadequate or obsolete. Health workers not having been paid or having been paid  only irregularly  for more than two years has left Yemen with only 10 health workers per 10,000 people – less than half the WHO minimum benchmark.

As a result of the precarious security situation and the difficulty of access across the country, reproductive health personnel, commodities and services in health facilities have become much more scarce and difficult for women and girls to reach.

UNFPA is working to strengthen the health systems to provide emergency obestric and neonatal care and other lifesaving reproductive health services to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.

Key Interventions 

  • Ensure availability of lifesaving  reproductive health medicines, supplies and equipment in health facilities
  • Ensure qualified health personnel are in place to provide reproductive health services in health facilities 
  • Provide mobile medical teams and clinics with  reproductive health services that include safe deliveries integrated  with nutrition services for pregnant women as well as disease prevention information
  • Make birth spacing methods available and accessible to people in health facilities and mobile clinics
  • Provide skilled healthcare personnel, particularly midwives, at the community level
  • Provide coordination of reproductive health response through the Reproductive Health Inter-Agency Working Group under the Health Cluster