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Major Yemen hospital faces closure due to shortage of supplies

31 August 2015 14:03


A humanitarian organization has warned of the imminent closure of a major hospital in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, due to a shortage of supplies in the war-racked country, which has been under Saudi airstrikes since late March.

“Critical fuel shortages and a lack of medical supplies could force the al-Sabeen Hospital to shut its doors within 48 hours,” Save the Children said in a statement late Sunday.

The organization said that the hospital is the main facility for children and pregnant women in the area and provides services to an estimated three million people.

“The hospital has entirely run out of IV fluid, anesthetic, blood transfusion tests, Valium to treat seizures and ready-prepared therapeutic food for severely malnourished children,” the statement said, citing the hospital’s Deputy Manager Halel al-Bahri.

The group warned that some 15.2 million Yemenis lack access to basic healthcare, which shows a 40-percent increase compared to March.

It further said that more than half a million children are expected to suffer severe acute malnutrition this year, and there has been a 150-percent increase in hospital admissions for malnutrition since March.

“It is crucial that enough medicines, supplies and fuel are able to get in to the country, otherwise the number of children dying from treatable illnesses is only going to get bigger,” said Edward Santiago, Save the Children’s Yemen director.

Saudi Arabia launched military strikes on Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to the country’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.

Over 4,300 people have lost their lives in the conflict since late March, according to the World Health Organization. Local Yemeni sources, however, say the fatality figure is much higher.

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