Yemen’s Level 4 Travel Advisory Updated
The US Department of State updated the ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory for the Republic of Yemen due to extensive civil unrest.
This Level 4 Travel Advisory published on November 26, 2019, says ‘There is a very high risk of kidnapping, and detention of U.S. citizens in Yemen, particularly dual national Yemeni-Americans.’
Furthermore, U.S. citizens have faced difficulties when attempting to depart Yemen.
And, the State Department is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Yemen as the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a suspended its operations in February 2015.
Separately, both the Canadian and the UK governments have previously issued similar high-level warnings.
If you decide to travel to Yemen, the State Department suggests:
- Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
- Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets, funeral wishes, etc.
- Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States.
- Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
- Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.
From a health risk perspective, the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) announced on October 3, 2019, it has been able to meet health needs in the midst of this evolving conflict.
Mounting a sustained and effective response to critical health needs is next to impossible when done alone, but thanks to OFDA and its partnerships, the consolidation of their efforts has saved children from malnutrition and worse yet—death.
“Yemen is an “all-risk” environment. Day in and day out we face challenges no other mission faces. This is still the world’s largest humanitarian crisis that is politically complex and operationally challenging,” said Altaf Musani, Representative in Yemen, in this press release.
Additionally, the 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan requires $4.2 billion to assist more than 20 million Yemenis, including 10 million people who rely entirely on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs every month.
Regarding health risks when visiting Yemen, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 1 Travel Alert on August 6, 2019, in response to an ongoing Cholera outbreak.
This CDC Travel Alert says more than 1.8 million cholera cases and over 3,500 deaths have recently been reported in Yemen.
Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the toxigenic bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe.
Without treatment, severe cholera cases can become fatal within hours, says the CDC.
The CDC says vaccination may be considered for adults who are traveling to areas of active cholera transmission. Cholera is rare in travelers but can be severe. Avoiding unsafe food and water and washing your hands can also help prevent cholera.
Furthermore, the Vaxchora vaccine prevents diarrhea caused by the most common type of cholera bacteria.
Regarding additional health risks when visiting Yemen, the CDC suggested on October 3, 2019, that visitors ensure they are current with certain vaccines, such as Routine Vaccines and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Yemen is also included in the CDC’s Global Measles Outbreak Notice, issued during June 2019.
Travel vaccine news is published by Vax-Before-Travel.