Yemen Government Says Over 1 Million Children Received Measles and Rubella Vaccines

Sheba Intelligence | 2023-10-10 04:37 PM UTC


The Ministry of Public Health and Population Tuesday announced the success of the immunization campaign against measles and rubella in all government-controlled provinces.

The deputy minister for the Primary Care Sector, Dr. Ali Al-Walidi, said that the teams could vaccinate 1,155,000 children, representing 91% of the total target.

According to Al-Walidi, 135,000 children between six and 11 months were vaccinated. Moreover, over one million children aged between 6 and 59 months received vaccines.

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was concerned about increasing measles and rubella cases among children in Yemen. Since the beginning of the year and until the end of July, the number of suspected measles and rubella cases in Yemen has reached almost 34,300 and 413 deaths, compared to 27,000 cases and 220 associated deaths in 2022, according to WHO.

While government-controlled areas have launched immunization campaigns to counter the spread of these diseases, the Houthi authorities have not facilitated or encouraged child vaccination campaigns against such diseases in areas under their control.

In August, the cases of measles patients admitted to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospitals in several Yemeni provinces have nearly tripled in the first half of 2023, at almost 4,000, compared to the whole of 2022, said the MSF.

The MSF operates in several Yemeni provinces, including Amran, Sa'ada, Hajjah, Ibb, Hodeida, Taiz, Marib, and Shabwah. Its latest report pointed out that the lack of immunization appears to be driven by logistical barriers, including the restrictions on humanitarian imports and the limited number of equipped health facilities.

Last year, Yemen's Minister of Information, Muammar Al-Eryani, accused the Ansar Allah (Houthi) authorities of restricting child immunization programs in Sanaa and other provinces under their control.