Dr. Abdelmoneim M. Ali
...Dr. Ali with foreign doctors at Sana'a Hospital in 1959. Nearly fifty years ago, our mutual friend, Dr. Abdelmoneim Mohamed Ali, was shocked when he joined Sana'a Hospital as a surgeon and served also as the medical doctor for the Yemeni army in 1959.He
noticed that there were no birth certificates, no death certificates, no sanitized water, no sewage system, no immunization, and a lack of medical services outside the range of the only three modest hospitals in Sana'a
, Taiz and Hodaidah.The services were extremely elementary everywhere with few qualified doctors.These were only accessible in the urban centers.Infant mortality was incredibly high and incidence of infectious and nutritional diseases were also high.Registries of newborns were absent.Dr. Ali
also noticed significant numbers of parasitic worms especially then-rampant dracuncolus medinensis (Medina worm) which ravaged many communities.He
was also surprised and dismayed by the ongoing replacement of coffee bean fields with qat (known to some as the "flower of paradise") fields throughout the country which seemed to indicate and increasing disregard for country's development.
One the 26th of September 1962, a dramatic change transformed Yemen and a republic was born.From 1962 till 1972, Dr. Ali served as the director of Sana'a Hospital, Chancellor to the Minister of Health, the head of the civilian Egyptian Medical Mission to Yemen, and the personal physician of then-President Abdullah El-Sallal.
Dr. Ali published many articles about Yemen in Egyptian, Yemeni and Kuwaiti magazines
is the author of a seminal 527-page book published in 1971 chronicling the history of health care in Yemen, entitled "The Development of Healthcare Services in Yemen."During his
7 year experience in Yemen, he
became a chronic lover of the country, which loved him back, to the extent that he
represented Yemen in the WHO conference in Geneva in 1964.Upon returning to Egypt, he worked for the Ministry of Health and became involved in the World Health Organization in Geneva and the Middle East office in Alexandria and Cairo, becoming a key figure in the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) headquarters.