Gulf news War in Yemen causes “terrifying” medical emergency

War in Yemen causes “terrifying” medical emergency
 

This content was originally posted in 7DAYS UAE website at: War in Yemen causes “terrifying” medical emergency


Mideast Yemen

The war in Yemen has caused the country’s public healthcare system to collapse, with “terrifying” consequences, a top medical aid agency has said.


Thousands of Yemenis have died from diseases that could be treated if the fighting stopped, Medicine San Frontieres’ (MSF) country director for Yemen said.


Hassan Boucenine told 7DAYS that more than 6,000 people have died in the country because of a lack of medical services. Boucenine said that was “just the top of the iceberg”.


A hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders is seen after was hit by a Saudi-led airstrike in the northern town of Abs, Yemen, Tuesday, Aug.16, 2016. Yemen's Houthi rebels condemned the Saudi-led military coalition on Tuesday over an airstrike that hit a hospital, killing several people. (AP Photo/STR)


He said: “The state of healthcare everywhere in Yemen, north, south, east and west is a catastrophy. It will seriously affect the demographic of Yemen. It’s not a joke.


“The situation in Aden is terrible, Taiz is the worst in the country right now. The situation in Taizz is terrifying, really.


MSF is providing free healthcare throughout parts of the country where most of the hospitals have closed, while maintaining strict neutrality in the conflict.


“Only 35 -36 per cent [of hospitals] are fully functional, but most of those hospitals you need to pay so they are accessible to only 10 per cent of the population.”


The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) announced on Wednesday that it had opened a mobile clinic in the southern city of Lahj. The clinic provides free services to the residents of the town and surrounding areas as part of their efforts to support infrastructure.


“We are grateful for the GCC countries’ help in the south, for providing support to schools and hospitals because in the south we are really alone, but it’s not enough,” Boucenine said.


On Monday, an MSF hospital in Hajjah, northern Yemen, was hit during an airstrike, leaving at least people 15 dead. Four MSF hospitals have been hit during the conflict in the past 12 months, Boucenine said.


Mideast Yemen


“Both sides need to respect the neutrality of medical facilities,” he said.


He urged the international community to push the Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government to the negotiating table to broker peace, as the country urgently needs to restart normal services in hospitals, he said.


“We appeal to the international community who have completely forgotten about Yemen, really, and to push a UN resolution for peace.”


“For the last 10 days now, since the end of the negotiations, violence has turned to heavy fighting on all fronts, including heavy bombardment and airstrikes, so it’s really difficult for any citizen to get any kind of healthcare.”


Without peace, Boucenine said, more people will die “from the effects of untreated diabetes, kidney failure, heart failure, from infection in a wound that was not treated correctly, and from the malnutrition that started to strike children because many places are not accessible due to security”.


“We need peace and we need to rebuild the public healthcare system, as well as the state.


“We need it now. A year ago it was a humanitarian tragedy. Since 2011 the country has been in crisis.”


“The situation on the ground is terrible for the normal population. Women are dying because they can’t have a caesarean section because they can’t reach any hospital on time,” he added.


“People die from a lack of treatment that will cost 50 or 80 dollars. It’s a shame.”


Shoshana@7days.ae


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