Because of Blockade, Death Threatens 40,000 Sickle Cell Patients in Yemen

The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Sana’a government confirmed on Thursday that the lives of 1,500 people with thalassemia and 40,000 people with sickle cell anemia are at risk as a result of the lack of medicines due to the continued war and siege.

This came in a press conference held by the Ministry in Sana’a, in cooperation with the Yemeni Society for Thalassemia and Hereditary Blood Patients, on the effects of war and siege on patients with thalassemia and hereditary hemolysis.

The Ministry called on international and humanitarian organizations operating in Yemen to carry out their responsibilities to continue supporting the health sector and to focus on supporting patients with thalassemia and hereditary hemolysis.

The conference statement, which was read by the ambassador of thalassemia patients, Anas Nasser, the ministry held the countries of Saudi-led coalition responsible for the deterioration of the health situation, the high number of deaths, the lack of medicine for thalassemia patients, and hereditary hemolysis.

The statement also called on the United Nations and its organizations and bodies to put pressure on the countries of Saudi coalition to lift the blockade and open Sana’a airport and the port of Hodeida in order to save the lives of thalassemia and genetic blood patients and ensure the continued provision of basic and supportive medicines and assistance to patients, especially iron-suppressing drugs and hydroxyurea treatment.

The statement called on international organizations to support efforts to enhance safe blood transfusion services for patients, given that the costs of medicines are high for patients’ families, as well as to support efforts to prevent and combat thalassemia and hereditary blood diseases by providing Hb electrophoresis devices and solutions for conducting early medical examinations (examination). before marriage).

The Ministry also called on the relevant authorities to quickly issue a binding law to conduct premarital examinations to protect children and future generations from thalassemia and genetic blood diseases.

Undersecretary for the Medical Sector Ali Jahaf pointed out the importance of intensifying community awareness of the importance of medical examination before marriage to protect generations from the risk of thalassemia diseases and hereditary blood disorders.

Jahaf stressed that the war on Yemen and the blockade increased the suffering of thalassemia patients, as a result of preventing the entry of medicines and the difficulty of obtaining them.

He pointed out that the organizations do not provide the required aid for patients with chronic diseases, as well as medicines and blood tests for patients with thalassemia and genetic blood.

“There is a major impediment to the introduction of medicine because of the blockade, which violates international and humanitarian charters and laws,” he said, calling on international and humanitarian organizations to assume their responsibilities and fulfill their duty towards patients with thalassemia and blood clots and provide their medicines.

Dr. Jahaf appreciated the efforts of the Yemeni Society for Thalassemia and Hereditary Blood Patients in helping patients and providing medicines.

While the head of the Yemeni Thalassemia Society Ahmed Shamsan, reviewed the situation of thalassemia patients and blood clots, their needs for medicines and blood, and the difficulties facing the society as a result of the increasing number of cases infected with this disease.

Shamsan pointed out that 463 deaths were recorded as a result of the lack of medicines until last October, and 700 new cases of infection were documented last year, stressing the need to take a decision to limit its spread, and to conduct a premarital examination.

Thalassemia and hereditary hemolysis are among the diseases that spread silently in societies despite their dangers.

They are chronic hereditary diseases that are transmitted from parents who carry the genetic trait to their children through genes. It is characterized by the presence of persistent anemia from several months after birth until the end of life.

Anemia affects the occurrence of complications for the patient and the need for blood transfusion, an enlarged spleen and liver, fragility and deformities in the bones and face with the protrusion of the front teeth, as well as changes in hormones, often poor growth, and a continuous high iron level as a result of frequent blood transfusions and the continuous dissolution of short-lived cells, and the accompanying.

This leads to complications in the various systems of the body, which may eventually lead to damage to the affected organs, or failure and disability in the functions of the body systems, especially the heart, spleen, liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

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