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Purpose: The objective of this study was to undertake an analysis of the eye care services situation in Yemen and to assess ophthalmic human resources, eye units’ ownership and ophthalmic equipments.
Methods: Eye care providers were surveyed by a standardized questionnaire which was sent to the 184 eye units in governmental, university, military, private and charity clinics and hospitals in Yemen and covered the period between 01 January to 31 December 2012. The questionnaire determined location, human resources and eye units’ ownership and ophthalmic equipments.
Results: The response rate to the questionnaire was 80.7%. During 2012, 184 eye units involved in providing eye care services in Yemen. 25% of eye units represent public sector, 72.3% represent private sector and 2.7% belong to non-governmental charity organizations. 682 people worked in eye care services of which 268 are ophthalmic doctors that is equivalent to 1.06 per 100,000 populations. Human resources and eye care equipments were below vision 2020 targets. There is significant unequal distribution of eye care services provision between urban and rural areas in Yemen.
Conclusion: Deficiency, maldistribution and inadequate training of ophthalmic doctors in addition to poor financial resources to establish and provide eye care units with good infrastructure. All these factors are regarded as major factors that cause underperformance in the Yemeni eye health system. We recommend equal distribution of trained ophthalmic doctors and personnel with good financial support for eye care services in rural areas of Yemen.