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Health crisis in light of Saudi-led aggression on Yemen

Health crisis in light of Saudi-led aggression on Yemen

[13/February/2020]

SANAA, Feb. 13 (Saba) - The war have destroyed much of the country's public infrastructure, including health facilities. Following the imposition of a blockade by the Saudi-led coalition (SLC) in 2015, import restrictions coupled with high inflation have crippled Yemenis’ access to healthcare and other essential services.

Furthermore, many of the country’s 50,000 health workers have not been paid since August 2016 and have consequently left the public health system, forced to look for other sources of income.

Yemen is facing a growing humanitarian catastrophe as health workers there risk their lives to help civilians caught up in the deadly war.

The emergency health-care needs of the population have now become so great that health workers are struggling to provide essential health care. “The health system is on the brink of collapse,” says Dr Ahmed Shadoul, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative for Yemen.

The Yemeni health system is in a state of near-collapse: the population has very limited access to health facilities, either because they are damaged or not fully functioning.

The direct consequences are the recent resurgence of outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles, a highly contagious viral disease and one of the leading causes of death among young children.

Indiscriminate Air strikes and chronic shortages of supplies and staff have led to the closure of more than half of Yemen's health facilities.

Recent outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and diphtheria and an upsurge in fighting have exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation in Yemen.

More than four million people have been displaced since the war started in 2015.

Heavy bombardment and airstrikes combined with continuous aggression, with few ceasefires allowing for humanitarian activity, have hampered citizens’ access to health care and increased the pressure on the health facilities that are still functioning.

Right now everybody – international and Yemeni health workers – is focusing on emergency health provision because of the massive numbers of war wounded,” says ICRC health coordinator for Yemen, Monica Arpagaus.

The outbreak of cholera in Yemen infected a staggering million people. Despite being a completely treatable disease, thousands of people died from the disease.

In addition to cholera, other contagious diseases such as diphtheria are spreading in the country. In a country where supplies and medical care are scarce, a lack of access to drinking water doesn't bode well for the ongoing health crisis.

More than 80% of Yemen's population lacks food, fuel, drinking water and access to health care services, which makes it particularly vulnerable to diseases that can generally be cured or eradicated elsewhere in the world.

The health care system has been decimated by years of unrelenting war in Yemen.

Diabetes causes a quarter of limb amputations at ICRC centres in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

people aren't getting medical treatment before it's too late. war is destroying Yemen's health care system, leaving many thousands without life-saving treatment, including those with chronic illnesses.

The citizens in several governorates are suffering particularly from a lack of health care due to the aggression, such as Taiz in the south and Sa’ada in the north.

Meanwhile access to health services is deteriorating in other parts of the country too, including Hodeida and Hajjah governorates, where most of the internally displaced have fled, as well as in most others including Hadramout, Aldhaleh, and Abyan.

In addition to restricted access to health facilities there is a severe shortage of medical supplies and equipment and Yemen’s health system is largely dependent on what WHO and its humanitarian partners can bring into the country.

M.M


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