Construction of a children’s hospital in the Ibb province

 

Why this project? 

So far, our projects have consisted primarily of 1.) allowing students and teachers to go back to school, and 2.) providing starving children and their families with provisions/food and medicine. This is going to stay the main focus for the organization, as long as the war is taking place and in-person help is necessary. People in Yemen not only suffer from the direct consequences of war, but also long-term poverty, inactivity, and helplessness. So, alongside our ongoing projects, we also want to set the course for the future and establish more sustainable forms of help. Many Yemenis would rather be active themselves than have to rely on outside help from others. This is why we want to focus our resources on improving basic healthcare for the most vulnerable in the county. Namely, the children in rural areas, by building a children’s hospital – as a long-term solution to “help people help themselves”. 

The hospital 

People in Yemen have been suffering from the effects of the civil war since 2013. Many were driven out of their homes and poverty itself is a huge challenge. Many of these internal refugees live in the Ibb province, the most densely populated and poorest region in the country. Children in this region are no longer provided with the urgently needed medical care, which for us is deemed as obvious. To provide humanitarian care for children, we are going to build a hospital. There will be ambulant as well as stationary care, to cover the full spectrum of the in-person medical primary care, with the focus being on sick children. 

Our “Thuraya” hospital (see “Learn more”) will be adapted to the local circumstances. Compared to hospitals in developed countries, the construction and running are notably cheaper, and this is why we as an organization can make this hospital happen – but we need your help! € 440.000,00 are already available for the construction of the hospital.  

Why now? 

Because Thuraya, like too many others, did not survive: When the 2-year-old girl fell ill, her family could not afford to pay for the medical care that she so desperately needed. They could not even afford to get her to the hospital. Her father contacted our organization, and she was taken to a hospital. Unfortunately, Thuraya was already so weak that she passed away within a few days. Her fate is no exception, but part of the daily tragedies that affect the civil war shaken Yemen. According to the UN estimate, 1 child in Yemen under the age of 5 dies every 10 minutes from treatable causes. Thuraya’s story, even if it is one of many, resonated with us. This is why we decided to build the “Thuraya Kinderklinik” directly in the Ibb region, which will be reachable for around 50.000 residents in a 10 km radius, to provide pediatric care.

Scheduling 

We started the children’s hospital project almost 2 years ago. A team of dedicated pediatricians met in April 2021 and all had the desire to provide medical care to children in the populous, poor and civil war-torn Government Ibb. Together with a team of architects, we defined the requirements for a children’s hospital. Thanks to the medical team, this went very quickly. However, getting through the Yemeni administration was tedious, and we received a total of four (some of them very extensive) inquiries about medical and organizational areas that we had to answer.

We had planned to start construction of the Thuraja Children’s Hospital in 2022. This required approval from the local authorities, which was applied for in June 2021. We were negotiating the contractual details with the health authority for around 18 months.

We received approval on October 3, 2022 and in February 2023 the land for the Thuraya Children’s Clinic was notarized to us.

The clinic will be completed in three expansion stages in order to maximize the benefits for the local population:

The first expansion stage will include all the rooms and equipment necessary for the function of a day clinic. Completion will take approximately 18 months. We expect the end of 2024 to be the beginning of 2025.

The completion of the second expansion stage will include the rooms for inpatient treatment (especially the bed rooms) as well as a small delivery room and is scheduled for 2027.

A third expansion stage to carry out small surgical procedures is not planned before 2029.

Spatial planning 

The project team “Children of Yemen in Need” is supported by a medical advisory board, which advised the organization on the planning of the corresponding medical requirements. 

A commissioned architectural firm drew up the construction plan for the children’s hospital in consultation with the Advisory Board. 

Other members of the project team are responsible for raising the necessary funds and for the financial planning of the hospital’s construction and operation.

We work closely with our partner organization in Yemen, “Yemen’s children in need”, in order to plan operations on site. 

A decision matrix proved a plot of land in Al-Qafr County to be the optimal location and all of the necessary preparations are underway to build the hospital at this location. This plot of land has already been entrusted to the organization by the inhabitants of the nearby village. Mr. Al Saidi, the chairman of the organization mentioned above, has received an assurance of the building plot. 

Financial planning 

We had our cost estimate for construction phase I, supported by 1.) the Munich University of Applied Sciences, 2.) an experienced architect with expertise in international projects on site, and 3.) exchanges with another association active in healthcare in Yemen originally a cost framework of around 780,000 euros.

The total costs now differ significantly from our first cost estimate in 2021. In individual items, e.g. building materials, we have a cost increase of almost 300% in Yemen in 2022. Material that has to be imported in particular has become very expensive in our current cost estimate.

 

Overall, after the known cost increases, we are assuming around US$ 1073,000.                                                     

 

You can follow the construction progress of the Thuraya Children’s Hospital here

Operating costs:

We are aiming to obtain the necessary medical equipment through donations from healthcare providers in Germany so that only the transport from Germany has to be organized. (see cost “Equipment”). For this reason, we are in contact with the German-Yemini Medical Association, which specialises in shipping medical supplies. 

How can you help? 

Not all of the resources needed to construct the Thuraya Clinic are yet available: Currently, the organization only has about two-thirds of the funds needed to complete the construction; however, we have decided to start the construction nevertheless and raise the outstanding funds parallel to the construction. This is in order to be able to provide assistance on site as early as possible. In addition to the cost of construction, there will be ongoing costs to operate the clinic, which will need to be covered by regular donations. This is why we need your help for the construction and ongoing  operation of the clinic. 

Project progress (July 2021)

A suitable site for the hospital has been identified and the building plot has been acquired. The official permit to start construction of the hospital is being awaited and everything is ready to start the construction of phase 1. We made a conscious decision to start construction immediately after the approval and to raise the outstanding funds parallel to the construction, in order to be able to provide on-site assistance as early as possible.

The medical concept for the clinic was developed and adapted by an experienced Medical Advisory Board. In addition, contacts have been established with various organizations that have experience in the field of medical aid in Yemen. 

Funded at the moment: 440.000

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There is still 633.000 Dollar missing