SANA'A January 23. 2023 (Saba) - Kidney failure patients in Yemen face the risk of death due to the severe shortage of dialysis supplies and solutions, the lack of medicines, and their high cost as a result of the repercussions of the economic blockade and the suspension of salary payments, which increased poverty and the deterioration of patients' lives.
The suffering that patients with kidney failure go through is severe and is not limited to pain. The financial burdens, the exorbitant costs of treatment, and the reduction of dialysis hours exacerbated that suffering.
Rashad al-Tuwaiti, a patient with kidney failure, says, "We are threatened with death as a result of running out of solutions and medicines, and we do not have the ability to buy the expensive medicines that we need, such as blood needles, medicines accompanying dialysis, and others, as a result of the blockade and the economic situation in the country."
Al-Tuwaiti added, "dialysis patients in the world are washed 3-4 times a week, and the duration of the dialysis session is four hours, and we in Yemen are washed from two to three times, and the duration of the session is three hours, and this increases our suffering."
He stressed that the blockade and the closure of Sana'a International Airport increased the suffering of patients as the aggression prevents the arrival of dialysis solutions and medicines.
Al-Tuwaiti said the suspension of salaries and the aggression's procrastination in disbursing them widened the circle of poverty and suffering and the inability to buy medicines or travel abroad for treatment.
Fear increases with every drop of blood transferred from the dialysis machine to the patients' arteries, as a result of the depletion of solutions and medicines in the dialysis centers and from the stores of the Ministry of Public Health and Population.
With the continuation of the aggression and air, sea and land blockade, the suffering of dialysis patients continues, who need regular treatment to survive through dialysis sessions as well as other essential medicines to maintain their immune systems.
According to a report issued by the Ministry of Health, the aggression coalition and its mercenaries practice various types of blockade on dialysis medicines, materials, and supplies in Yemen, in addition to targeting and the direct bombing of dialysis centers.
The report indicated that the aggression coalition targeted, with direct bombardment, the dialysis center in Haradh district of Hajjah province and the Yemen International Dialysis Center in Sala district of Taiz province, which led to their complete destruction and out them out of service.
The destruction of the two centers led to the displacement of kidney failure patients receiving services to the nearest dialysis center, which led to an increase in the burden and pressure on the next centers that accommodate them, which at the same time suffer from scarcity and almost shortage of dialysis materials and supplies as a result of the blockade, according to the report.
The cessation of the services of the two centers also caused another suffering for the patients represented in bearing the costs of travel, housing, and food, which is very stressful, but they have no other option to secure washing sessions.
The report stressed that the blockade is the cause of the lack of medicines and their scarcity, as patients with kidney failure need chronic medicines such as "heparin, erythropoietin, calcium gluconate, and others", which are available only in small quantities that do not meet the purpose, which increases the suffering of patients with kidney failure and the health sector alike.
The Ministry of Health sounded the alarm as a result of the depletion of solutions, medicines, materials, supplies, and washing sessions from its stores, which covered 17 centers in various provinces.
The Ministry warned that more than five thousand patients with kidney failure are threatened with death if the dialysis sessions are stopped, stressing that there is still no support from international organizations supporting the purchase of materials, supplies, and dialysis sessions, which heralds an imminent major disaster.
For the second time in one month, the Ministry of Health held two press conferences confirming that its stores and dialysis centers are empty of solutions and medicines.
The ministry stated in a statement that dialysis patients need 500,000 dialysis sessions annually, where the session price ranges between 30 to 40 dollars, not to mention the accompanying medicines and analyses for each session, indicating that al-Thawra General Hospital Authority in the capital Sana'a receives 170 to 220 cases per day from different regions from the provinces of the republic.
The statement pointed out that the entry of maintenance supplies for ascites devices, which are more than 498 devices in need of maintenance, continues to be prevented from entering.
The ministry called on the United Nations to do its duty to stop the aggression, lift the blockade, open Sana'a International Airport, and allow the entry of medicines and medical supplies to save the lives of patients, including patients with kidney failure.
Officials at the Ministry of Health stated that the United Nations organizations were contacted months ago regarding the provision of drugs for kidney failure for 2023, but reluctance prevailed, stressing that due to the blockade imposed on Sana’a airport and the port of Hodeida, Yemen is no longer able to import medicines, and therefore it resorts to United Nations organizations.
Dr. Ali Jahaf, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for the Clinical Medicine Sector, says: “We have addressed the United Nations and health organizations operating in Yemen that we need to provide sufficient drug stocks for dialysis sessions for 2023 as we need approximately 500,000 dialyses every year without receiving a response despite multiple correspondences and meetings in this regard.
Jahaf added "We have held more than one conference and warned of a humanitarian catastrophe that threatens the lives of thousands of dialysis patients in various provinces but there is no response."
He held the international community and the United Nations responsible for providing urgent dialysis sessions to save patients' lives, stressing that dialysis centers are standing today on the verge of stopping, and the stocks are not enough for less than two weeks.
The Undersecretaries of the Ministry of Health for the care sector, Dr. Mohammad al-Mansour, and the population sector, Dr. Najeeb al-Qubati, stressed the importance of the humanitarian response plan including the emergency needs of the health sector.
They called on the United Nations and international organizations working in the health sector not to turn a blind eye to the catastrophic tragedy that claimed the lives of thousands of patients, including kidney failure patients who are threatened with death as a result of the scarcity of dialysis supplies.
The continuation of the blockade has cast a shadow on patients with kidney failure, who have lost one of their basic health-related rights, and have not received the scheduled weekly dialysis sessions that are guaranteed by international law, which puts their lives at risk, and some of them die.
resource : Saba
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