Al-Haykel Health Center resumes work after several interruptionsNFDHR:ADEL OTHMAN: - Wednesday, 03 March, 2021
Al-Haykel Health Center, in Dhee Naem district, Al-Bayda governorate, serves an estimated population of 7,200. Nevertheless, this center has been closed for months due to different reasons, perhaps the most prominent of which is the departure and resignation of health workers after the relevant authorities were unable to pay salaries. The situation discouraged the newly contracted workers coming from outside the district. The closure of the center worsened the health problem in the Al-Haykel region and its neighboring areas, parallel to ceasing the activities of four programs: immunization, reproductive health, IMCI and CMAM.
Commenting on this issue, Ahmed Hussein Al-Amri, district Health Office manager, says: “we suffer from serious lack of health staff in the area. Actually, we used to attract health workers from distant places and contract with them to ensure the continuity of the health center, but the unpaid salaries pushed them to leave the area or resign. We were repeatedly forced to close the center due to the absence of health workers... "
When the center got closed, the residents had to move long distances and incur huge amount of money to transport their children to the nearest health facility in the district.
In the year 2020, the National Foundation for Development and Humanitarian Response carried out the Emergency Response Project for Health and Nutrition Services, funded by UNICEF, which aimed to operate and support 60 health facilities in Al-Bayda governorate, including Al-Haykal Health Center.
NFDHR's team, in coordination with the Governorate's Public Health and Population Office, began to search for solutions that would ensure resuming work in the center and guarantee availability of long-term health workers.
Relying on graduates from the governorate's health institutes was one of the practical options to solve the problem of health workers on condition that they belong to Dhee Naem district. Two students of the institute in addition to a female health worker were nominated. They were given intensive practical training at Dhee Naem Health Center were enrolled in the integrated primary health care programs for child health, reproductive health, immunization and CMAM, ahead to beginning their work in October 2020.
Al-Haykel Health Center reopened its doors upon the launch of the project, and the health workers began work immediately through receiving ill children. The families were delighted to see the center open and flocked to treat their children.
Since resuming work in 2020, Al-Haykel Health Center has treated hundreds of cases of different age and gender groups.