News ID: 198469
Published: 0715 GMT August 12, 2017

Yemen's blood bank faces threat of closure within days (video)

Yemen's blood bank faces threat of closure within days (video)

Yemen's blood bank sent out an urgent appeal to anyone who will listen as war and a blockade on the capital, Sana’a, may force the center to close within a week.

The National Blood Transfusion Centre director, Dr Adnan al-Hakimi, said the crisis emerged after French medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) informed the bank it was suspending its aid after more than two years of work, Al Jazeera reported.

"We appeal to all humanitarian organizations in the international community and all financial donors to support the center, as our medical supplies have nearly run out," said Hakimi.

An MSF spokeswoman said the charity had handed over its support for the blood bank to the World Health Organization.

"We will only be able to work for one more week, and after that if the humanitarian organizations don't mobilize to support the national center, it will shut down."

The blood bank says it treats some 3,000 Yemenis a month who suffer from cancer, kidney failure, and thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder that causes severe anemia.

But a trifecta of war, disease, and famine has left the bank struggling to keep up with spiraling demand, with basic supplies all but impossible to secure in a country locked in by port and airport blockades.

"We've been impacted by the overall situation in Yemen, including the economic collapse," Hakimi said.

Less than half of Yemen's hospitals are still up and running two years into a war since 2015 when Saudi Arabia launched a bombing campaign to bring back Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power and undermine the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The country's main international airport in Sana’a is also blockaded, with access limited to a select few UN aid flights by the Saudi-led coalition, which controls the airspace.

The war has destroyed much of Yemen's infrastructure and pushed the country - long the Arab world's poorest state - to the brink of official famine.

A cholera outbreak has also claimed the lives of some 2,000 Yemenis in less than four months.


PressTV News Videos Published on Aug 8, 2017 Saudi Arabia’s tight blockade on Yemen keeps worsening the humanitarian crisis in the impoverished nation. Yemen’s Blood Bank says it is on the brink of collapse due to severe shortage in materials it needs to operate.
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