Sana’a: 80 Newborn Dies Daily due to War, Siege on Yemen

The Minister of Health in the Sana’a government, Dr. Taha Al-Mutawakel, on Wednesday revealed that 50 percent of premature babies die in Yemen as a result of the repercussions of the war and the blockade.

During the third scientific medical conference on neonatal diseases, organized in Sanaa by Al-Sabeen Hospital for Maternity and Childhood, Dr. Al-Murwakel said that the statistics of the Ministry of Health recorded the death of 80 newborn babies daily due to the lack of equipment, medicines and medical expertise as a result of the blockade imposed on Yemen.

He pointed out that the health sector lacks incubators for newborns, as it has only 600 incubators, while the actual need is estimated at 2,000 incubators.

The Minister of Health indicated that the first Saudi-led coalition raids on Yemen claimed the life of a woman and her fetus in Bani Hawat area eight years ago, explaining that the coalition airstrikes killed and injured more than 16,000 children and women.

For her part, the Director General of Al-Sabeen Hospital, Dr. Majda Al-Khatib, explained that the war and the siege caused an increase in the death rate of in the hospital’s incubators only, to 2,277 newborns, out of a total of more than 12,200 newborns since 2016.

In turn, the representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund “UNICEF”, Dr. Kabir, stated: 52,000 children die annually, with a child dying every ten minutes, according to United Nations statistics, stressing that Yemen records the highest child mortality rates in the Middle East.

He revealed that United Nations statistics in Yemen recorded the death of 60 children out of every 1,000 newborns, and the death of 6 newborns every two hours, indicating that 50% of deaths of children under the age of five are newborns.

The UNICEF’s representative noted that more than 50% of newborn deaths could be avoided if basic health care could be provided.

The Ministry of Public Health and Population called on international organizations working in the health sector to carry out their responsibilities, continue to support the health system, and focus on enhancing preparedness for epidemics as a priority.

In a press conference held in Sana’a on the occasion of the International Day of Preparedness for Epidemics, in the presence of the Public Health and Population Minister, Dr. Taha Al-Mutawakel, and the Undersecretaries of the Ministry and Directors of General and Programs, the Saudi-Emirati coalition held the responsibility for the deterioration of the health situation and epidemics spread in Yemen.

The ministry called on the United Nations, its organizations and bodies to pressure to stop the war, lift the blockade, and open Sana’a International Airport in order to work to strengthen measures to prepare for and control epidemics.

The statement reviewed the strategies of disease control and surveillance programs, pointing to the effects and repercussions of the war on the epidemiological situation in Yemen.

The statement also pointed to the factors that led to the deterioration of the epidemiological situation in Yemen, the most important of which is displacement, the spread of skin and respiratory diseases, the lack of water and sanitation, the targeting of health facilities by direct and indirect bombardment, the lack of oil derivatives in health facilities, the prevention of the entry of diagnostic devices, vital medicines, laboratory reagents and antiserums, in addition to cutting Spare parts for sewage treatment plants.

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