In the city of Aden, Première Urgence Internationale organizes training sessions to learn how to make reusable sanitary pads. These sessions take place in “mother-child corners”, set up by our teams.

An awareness session is taking place in a Mother-Baby corner set up by our teams I © Première Urgence Internationale

In June 2022, Dr Mirvat conducted a training that could be considered unconventional in the complicated context of Yemen: a demonstration on how to make reusable sanitary pads in Aden, the capital city of South Yemen. This sanitary pads’ activity was initiated by Première Urgence Internationale about a year and a half ago in Northern Yemen and has more recently been implemented in the South. Dr Mirvat, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Project Manager for Première Urgence Internationale’s Yemen mission, explains:

“In our health facilities and Therapeutic Feeding Centers, Nurses noticed that some mothers coming kept standing, because when they sat their period blood would stain their clothes.”

During June’s training, three nurses learned how to make these fabric hygiene pads. Then, they disseminated this activity to women admitted in three Première Urgence Internationale-supported health facilities of Southern Yemen. It quickly generated a lot of enthusiasm among the mothers:

“The mothers are very, very excited and happy to do it. Especially mothers coming from remote villages, who are very poor and cannot buy pads. Then they share this knowledge to their families and communities when they come back, to their daughters for example. They even ask the Nurse when they will do this activity!”, declared Dr Mirvat.

The three MBC Nurses are learning how to manufacture reusable hygiene pads, in Aden  I © Première Urgence Internationale

Sanitary pads are manufactured in Mother-Baby Corners (MBCs), a pilot activity established by Première Urgence Internationale in some health facilities. Indeed, in a country torn apart by war since 2014 and devastated by economic collapse, Première Urgence Internationale supports several health and nutrition facilities, including admitting and treating children with acute malnutrition. Mother-Baby Corners are safe and comfortable spaces where the mothers of these children are received and are provided with psychosocial support. The women welcomed are often in a state of great distress:

In Yemen, we have a lot of difficulties because of the war. The mothers are particularly affected. When they come to the Mother-Baby Corners, most of them are worried and speak about the war. They also speak about difficulties in their daily life and their economic situation, especially on the children. So, we need really to include psychosocial activities in our health and nutrition projects.

Dr Mirvat is proud of Première Urgence Internationale’s work in Yemen in the provision of psychosocial support to women.

As a result, they receive guidance on perinatal health and motherhood topics by a dedicated Mother-Baby Corner Nurse.

For example, the Nurse shows them how to perform the “six childcare practices”. These are psychosocial care, home health, hygiene, care for women, preparation of food, and breastfeeding. They help strenggthen the mother-baby dyad:

For the massage activity for instance, the Nurse focuses on the relationship. The bonding between the mother and the baby which enhances the baby’s health in general. When they come to the MBC, they do not know the importance of this relationship between the mother and the baby. This affects the health of the child”, explained Dr Mirvat.

Day after day, they can also discuss, share experiences. They learn from each other and talk about self-care, a highly neglected topic in Yemen.

Fight again malnutrition

These Mother-Baby Corners are essential for Première Urgence Internationale’s fight against malnutrition, as they allow the dissemination of key messages on nutrition to the mothers, such as the importance of breastfeeding or when to introduce other food groups. According to the 2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview, more than eight million people are in need of life-saving nutrition aid, including 2.2 million children under five years old, and 1.3 million pregnant and lactating mothers. Mother-Baby Corners also aim at improving the maternal and child wellbeing and bonding, allowing for a better development of the child.

In Yemen, Première Urgence Internationale is present and active since 2007, providing assistance to the most vulnerable populations of the conflict-affected areas through a community-based integrated approach combining primary and reproductive health, nutrition, psychosocial support, food security and water, sanitation and hygiene interventions. The three Mother-Baby Corners in South Yemen are supported in a project funded by the European Union, implemented from May 2021 to February 2023. Between May 2021 and July 2022, almost 3,000 women have been received in these Mother-Baby Corners and were provided with psychosocial support.

Find out more about Première Urgence Internationale in Yemen

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Première Urgence Internationale. It do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.


How your donations are used?

Stats Each year, Première Urgence Internationale allocates most of its resources to the programs and activities and only 0.2% to fundraising. Your donations are crucial.

Take control of your destiny

Your donations ensure our freedom of action. They allow us to provide support to those affected by crises that have been forgotten by the media and institutional sponsors. It means that the decisions of how to use all of the donations collected are taken by the organisation. It gives us the freedom to act and to increase our responsiveness.
Make a donation