Some hospitals in Yemen to close over to lack of funding

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Sanaa, Sep 22 (IANS): Hospitals and medical centres in some parts of Yemen are on the brink of closure due to a lack of funding, a government official said here.

“A number of public hospitals in southern regions and the beleaguered northern province of Marib may stop offering health care services during the upcoming days as they are facing complicated financial problems,” the official told Xinhua news agency on Wednesday.

He indicated that other public hospitals in the country’s northern provinces controlled by the Houthi militia are facing the same obstacles.

On Tuesday, the state-run Saba news agency said that the only public hospital offering care to mothers and children in Marib has warned it may shut down at the end of September due to lack of a budget, after the withdrawal of international organisations that used to provide salaries for 65 staff including doctors, technicians and nurses.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa.

Some 19.7 million people lack access to basic health services as a result of the country’s deteriorating situation as a result of the prolonged war..

Currently, only 51 per cent of the health facilities in Yemen are fully functioning and of those, most lack operational specialists, equipment, and basic medicines.

Yemen’s maternal mortality ratio is one of the highest at 164 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

In addition, the degrading health care system has resulted in vulnerability to and the emergence of diseases that can generally be cured or have been eradicated elsewhere. This ranges from a cholera outbreak to the re-emergence of diphtheria, measles, and polio.

These conditions further worsened after the Covid-19 pandemic.

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