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Yemen hospitals facing closures as fighting rages

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Major hospitals in Yemen have been struggling to function due to a supply shortages caused by the increased fighting between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The main hospital in rebel-held capital, Sanaa, is on the verge of shutting down due to limited access to basic medicines and equipments caused by blockade imposed by pro-Hadi fighters, while hospitals in Taiz were under siege by Houthi rebels.

Save the Children said Al-Sabeen Hospital – that caters to children and pregnant women in Sanaa – could shut its doors on Tuesday over critical fuel shortages and a lack of medical supplies.

The hospital, reliant on the Red Sea port of Hodeida for 90 percent of its imports, serves an estimated three million people, the organisation said in a statement.

“The hospital has entirely run out of IV fluid, anaesthetic, 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.

Basic healthcare

In Taiz, Yemen’s third city, two major hospitals have already closed due to a supply shortage caused by a blockade imposed by Houthi fighters, Médecins Sans Frontières or Doctors without Borders (MSF) said.

“Yemen International Hospital and the military hospital, the biggest in Taiz, have shut their doors because the rebels refused to allow us to deliver drugs and medical supplies,” Salah Ibrahim Dongu’du, a project coordinator at MSF, told Al Jazeera over phone.

“Safwa Hospital is closing today, and Rawda hospital can only accept emergency cases,” he said. “The medical situation in Taiz is not good. It is catastrophic.”

Dongu’du said that there are more than 1,400 people in need of immediate medical help in the besieged city.

The Saudi-led coalition has mounted an air campaign against Iran-backed Houthi rebels late March in support of the exiled President Hadi.

Across Yemen, 15.2 million people are lacking access to basic healthcare, an increase of 40 percent since March, Save the Children warned.

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 said. Al Jazeera


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