The Iran-backed Houthi militias’ targeting of the Yemeni health sector in areas under their control has placed the lives of 60,000 cancer patients in jeopardy. At least 18,000 cases are found in Ibb and Taiz governorates.
The Houthis’ continued disruption the work of institutions and centers that treat and support cancer patients in Sanaa and other cities has led to the suffering of tens of thousands of patients, medical sources revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat.
Cancer patients in Houthi-held areas suffer from the lack of free treatment offered by international organizations, the absence of health services and the deterioration of living conditions.
Most of these critical cases can be found in Sanaa and its countryside, and the governorates of Ibb, Taiz, Amran, Dhamar, Hajjah and Raymah.
Houthis, since taking over the capital Sanaa, have pursued a policy of medication deprivation and plundering the assets and resources of state institutions.
The profit they gather from looting state bodies Houthis invest in their war effort across Yemen.
Hundreds of cancer patients have complained against the scarcity of treatment available and the cutting of health services in Houthi-held cities. Many have said they now faced death because of the militias’ failure in managing health facilities and resources.
They also accused the Houthis’ Iran-backed leaders of stealing and tampering with international aid, some revealing that relief sent to poor Yemenis is being sold for money for militants.
“I now wait for death instead of having my next chemotherapy session,” Salma, a 40-year-old Yemeni woman who is a breast cancer patient.
She revealed that chemotherapy doses are being distributed by the oncology center at the Republican Hospital in Sanaa according to Houthi clout.
“I sometimes wait for weeks and need to bribe my way into getting a single dose of medicine, while other patients who enjoy close ties with the Houthis enjoy free and swift treatment,” noted Salma.