Mapping the resilience capacities and coping mechanisms of health workers and other cadres in hospital emergency departments in Sana’a during protracted conflict and crisis in Yemen


Partners: Al-Sabeen Hospital for Maternity and Children & Al-Thawra General Modern Teaching Hospital, Sana’a, Yemen, and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK


Yemen’s ongoing war has devastated the country’s health system, with only 51% of health facilities classified as fully functional, 19.7 million people lacking access to adequate healthcare, and only 10 health workers available per 10,000 people in the country. This situation has been exacerbated by outbreaks of cholera, diphtheria and dengue fever, the escalation of hostilities, plus external funding cuts and the closure of borders.


Previous work by ReBUILD identified a range of coping mechanisms and adaptations used by health workers in conflict-affected settings to enable them to continue to provide life-saving services during different types of shocks. This new study will explore the lived experiences, coping mechanisms and resilience capacities of health workers and allied health professionals who are at the frontline of the response during conflict – the staff in Yemen’s emergency departments in Sana’a City in Yemen. These workers are the first to receive injured and sick community members, and are working under extreme pressure. Through participatory action research, the research partners will map the resilience capacities of all of these cadres of health workers and co-develop low-cost interventions that can help health workers respond to shocks. Outputs will support routine and emergency planning in Yemeni hospitals, and inform approaches both in Yemen and in other conflict-affected settings.


Further information

Professor Al-Sonboli has spoken at ReBUILD for Resilience events:

  • The Tragedy of War: partnerships and strategies to deliver essential health care to vulnerable Yemeni children and babies – watch the lecture here
  • No health without peace: Health justice in armed conflict settings – webinar recording here

A blog post on Professor Najla Al-Sonboli of Al-Sabeen Hospital for Maternity and Children can be read here.


Image: Starvation in Yemen by Felton Davis via Flickr [opens new tab]

"ReBUILD for Resilience brings together partners to share experiences, to discuss our contexts, and to create an appropriate model that helps build resilience in health systems across the country and beyond"

Sushil Baral, HERD International