Yemeni children denied life-saving operations due to Saudi-led war and siege

A report published by Reuters on 17 March reveals that thousands of Yemeni children are unable to undergo life-saving operations due to the seven years of siege imposed on Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition.

Quoting Mohammed al-Kebsi, head of the cardiac center at Al-Thawra Hospital in Sanaa, the report disclosed that the number of children who are currently on the waiting list for complex heart surgeries at the medical facility has risen to almost 3,000.

Dr Al-Kebsi attributed this situation to the ongoing aggression by Saudi-led coalition against Yemen. He said the war and the blockade imposed by the coalition has made it extremely difficult for Yemen’s Ministry of Health to import the necessary medical equipment.

The closure of Sanaa International Airport, Dr Al-Kebsi added, has made it impossible for international medical specialists to travel to the country to assist local doctors in conducting complex surgical operations.

The war-ravaged economy has also left many parents unable to raise the amounts of money needed to pay for their children’s operations.

Yemen descended into chaos in March 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, with the backing of the US and other NATO states launched a brutal war against the region’s most impoverished country.

The Saudi-led onslaught has crippled Yemen’s health system. In addition to blocking the entry of health material and drugs, the coalition has also destroyed and damaged hospitals.

According to Oxfam, a UK-based non-governmental organization, the coalition bombed more than 200 medical facilities between March 2015 and August 2020.

Statistics by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) show that the war has destroyed nearly half the country’s health facilities.

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