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4,400 dialysis patients face looming death in Yemen: Doctors Without Borders

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A Yemeni man donates blood for the victims of Saudi air strikes at a hospital in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on January 28, 201

A Yemeni man donates blood for the victims of Saudi air strikes at a hospital in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on January 28, 2016

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has warned that Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen has brought the country’s dialysis treatment centers to a breaking point.

On Tuesday, the international medical organization warned that some 4,400 people are in danger of renal failure due to lack of supplies in medical centers.

Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, 2015, in a bid to bring Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi — who had resigned as Yemen’s president — back to power.

Since the beginning of the Saudi onslaught doctors have been struggling to procure medical provisions, especially those required for dialysis sessions. But, the Saudi war and import bans have heavily restricted the country’s health system.

“People with renal failure are at a critical moment as there is a lack of essential medical supplies in the country,” said William Turner, the MSF head of mission in Yemen. “Patients usually need three dialysis sessions per week but, under current circumstances, for most people this has been reduced to two sessions.”

Turner also called on international organizations to increase aid to the country’s dialysis centers.

“The imperative now is for these centers to receive regular medical supplies so they can continue to provide reliable lifesaving treatment. The war has crippled the health system’s financial ability to import the necessary supplies, making the need for external support of the highest priority,” he said.

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MSF is currently supplying medical supplies to four dialysis centers across the country and will continue to provide the needed supplies for the treatment of 660 patients for the next six months.

But, 28 of the country’s remaining centers are suffering from extreme shortages of supplies.

“If patients do not get their weekly sessions, they will die – it’s as simple as that,” said Dr. Adel Al Hagami, the head of the dialysis center in a hospital in Sana’a.

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