UNICEF airlifts COVID-19 testing kits to Yemen

The first batch of 10,000 COVID-19 tests reached in Sana’a on a UNICEF-chartered plane on last Thursday (18 Jun), to increase the COVID-19 testing capability amid the rapid progress of coronavirus cases in Yemen. A further shipment of 8,000 COVID-29 test kit 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,” stated Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF Diplomat in Yemen. “UNICEF continues to bring critical supplies to Yemen to support the response efforts and protect children and their communities against the pandemic.”

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Since the first COVID-19 infection was officially affirmed in Yemen on 10 April, UNICEF has shipped over 33,000 N95 masks, 33,000 face shields, and 18,000 gowns into Yemen. This essential personal protective equipment (PPE) will support 400 frontline health workers for three months, but only represents five percent of the COVID-19 supplies that UNICEF requires in Yemen.

COVID-19 is just the latest challenge for people in Yemen. The danger to children and their families is compounded by general low resistance power, high levels of malnutrition among children, a lack of regular access to basic services including immunization, and a devastating healthcare system where only half of the facilities are functional due to conflict.

UNICEF’s COVID-19 response in Yemen remains severely under-funded. So far, only 10 percent of UNICEF’s US$53 million funding appeal has been received.

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