A thousand children die every day in Yemen due to aggression, siege: Health Minister
Minister of Public Health and Population Dr. Taha al-Mutwakil on Wednesday said a thousand children in Yemen die every day due to the aggression, the blockade, and the lack of equipment and medicines.
“According to the reports of international organizations, 150,000 children die in Yemen annually,” Dr. al-Mutwakil added during a press conference organized by the Ministry to clarify the support provided by health organizations working in Yemen to the health sector this year.
He confirmed that child deaths are more than what those reports mentioned. “This indicates that the country is being subjected to genocide of an entire generation.”
About six thousand women die every year as a result of complications of pregnancy and childbirth, the Health Minister added.
“In front of these tremendous numbers, we have only one request, which is to stop the aggression, lift the siege, open Sanaa airport, and allow patients to be treated abroad,” he said.
The Minister said that the Ministry had carried out a comprehensive survey of hospitals and health units and centers, and that the survey results showed that 93% of devices are out of their lifetime, and there are only 5% of general practitioners and 5% of specialists.
The Ministry submitted the needs plan for 2019 to international organizations, which included one package of equipment, cadres and medicines in accordance with the prepared plan based on the survey, but these needs were not met, he explained.
The Health Minister affirmed that the organizations operate in violation of laws and agreements. “We addressed the organizations, especially UNICEF, that we reject these measures and asked it to stop these actions.”
He added that many in-kind aid provided by organizations is expired, such as medicines, including what was returned from Sanaa Airport.
“There are very poor medical supplies and they are not working properly,” Dr. al-Mutwakil said. “We sent a note to the Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Lise Grande that the devices should live up to use in the medical field and should be from reliable sources and have maintenance guarantees, but that did not get any response from her.”
Dr. al-Mutwakil indicated that there is not a single magnetic resonance device in Yemen used to treat cancer patients, affirming the refusal of international organizations to enter the device to Yemen on the pretext that it contains gas used in the military industries.
At the conference, the Health Minister said that the health sector needs $ 500 million in the curative medicine sector and $ 400 million in the primary health care and epidemic control sector.
He referred that the aggression hit over 600 health facilities in Yemen while health workers inside them, considering this a war crime that its perpetrators must be punished.
The Health Minister praised the efforts of health workers and their steadfastness in light of the difficult conditions the country is going through, and appreciated the media efforts to keep pace with the suffering of the health sector and the humanitarian situation in Yemen.