Yemeni children dying as healthcare system nears collapse

Yemeni children dying as healthcare system nears collapse
2 min read
21 December, 2016
Organisations are warning that aid and food supplies are dwindling, causing thousands of deaths that should have been prevented by proper healthcare facilities.
A malnourished Yemeni boy receives medical treatment in Taiz [AFP]
Yemen's health-care system is only weeks away from total collapse, due to a shortage of medicine and doctors in a country already ravaged by war and famine.

The World Health Organisation recently found in a survey of 16 out of 22 Yemeni governorates, only 45 percent of medical centres were fully functioning, while 42 percent of hospitals only had one or two doctors to serve an entire community.

"Even before the war far too many Yemeni children were dying of preventable causes," said Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save the Children.

"But now, the situation is even worse and every ten minutes, one Yemeni child dies from preventable killers such as diarrhoea, malnutrition and respiratory tract infections – it's a disgrace."

A lack of medical supplies and doctors has caused 10,000 deaths that should have been prevented by proper healthcare facilities.

There was a cholera outbreak in a number of locations in October, caused in part by a complete lack of antibiotics.

At least 462,000 children are suffering from severe malnutrition and another 2.2 million children require urgent care, according to UNICEF.

Save the Children reported that 1,219 children were killed as a result of fighting, in a war that has dragged on for more than twenty-one months.

"The situation in Yemen shames us all," said Chief Executive for Oxfam GB, Mark Goldring.

"The health and food systems are now weeks away from total collapse and the suffering we are seeing is immense."