Saturday, November 26, 2022

Dozens of Yemeni newborns die every day due to war: Health ministry

An official with Yemen’s Health Ministry has confirmed that at least 80 newborn babies lose their lives on a daily basis due to the lack of required medical equipment in the war-hit country.

Some 39 percent of babies are premature, which shows a significant increase compared to the period before the start of the war, Najeeb al-Qubati, the undersecretary of Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population for the Population Sector said.

The official added the use of prohibited weapons was one of the reasons behind the growing trend. He said several human rights organizations have already acknowledged and condemned Saudis for using such arms.

Yemeni medical centers are in need of some 2,000 incubators, he continued, noting that 632 incubators have been provided so far.

Since launching the war with the support of Washington in March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition has used internationally-banned weapons, including US-made cluster bombs, to target residential areas, according to the Cluster Munition Monitor.

Apart from the war, Saudi Arabia has imposed a blockade on Yemen which, combined, have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The military aggression has destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure, including the health sector.

In September, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported the Ministry of Public Health and Population had confirmed the Saudi-led blockade had raised acute malnutrition cases to more than 632,000 children under the age of five and 1.5 million pregnant and lactating women.

“The siege and intense bombardment with prohibited weapons caused a high rate of congenital abnormalities and miscarriages, with an average of 350,000 miscarriages and 12,000 malformations,” it reported.

According to the ministry, the siege led to an eight-percent increase in premature births compared to the situation before the war.

The blockade has also increased the number of cancer patients by 50 percent. The figure showed 46,204 cases registered during the year 2021.

The ministry announced the Saudi-led war had destroyed 162 health facilities completely or 375 partially and put them out of work.

The objective of the war was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen. Not only has the Saudi-led coalition failed to meet its objectives, it has also killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and created what the UN calls the world’s “worst humanitarian crisis.”

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