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Outbreak of Seasonal Colds Sweeps Sanaa

Outbreak of Seasonal Colds Sweeps Sanaa

Wednesday, 20 January, 2021 - 08:00
A Yemeni waste collector in Sanaa | EPA

Medics based in the Houthi-run Yemeni capital, Sanaa, have reported a massive outbreak of colds and chest infections in the city. This comes amid a crisis of Houthi mismanagement and neglect wreaking havoc over the health sector.


Health workers at public hospitals in Sanaa confirmed the spread of seasonal influenza due to temperatures dropping to record lows in Yemen. On a daily basis, new patients flock public hospitals to obtain the necessary medical care.


Winter is particularly harsh for Yemenis who are trying to survive the struggles of living in a war-torn country. Many have to brave frosty weather at camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs).


Sanaa locals have complained to Asharq Al-Awsat that colds and other seasonal diseases are still killing their women and children in light of the complete lack of health services in most public hospitals and health facilities controlled and run by the Houthi militia.


Zakariya, a father of three children, has confirmed the poor access to proper healthcare and public services in Sanaa due to corruption riddling Houthi circles.


Fees have also been hiked at public hospitals under Houthi orders.


“Today, I need more than 20,000 Yemeni rials to cover treatment costs for me and my three children who have been exposed to severe colds,” Zakariya told Asharq Al-Awsat.


Tens of millions of Yemeni rials collected by public hospitals and health centers in Houthi-controlled areas are being funneled into the Iran-backed group’s war effort, health workers asserted.


They also said there was a spike in lootings targeting hospitals and clinics, with most of the raids being staged by Houthi gunmen.


Seeking to exploit Yemeni suffering, Houthi leaders and supervisors set up central pharmacies at public hospitals and health centers across the capital to sell medicines at doubled prices.


“Houthis have rushed to prepare a systematic plan that includes, in its first phase, the creation of pharmacies to sell medicine inside Sanaa’s hospitals and health centers. This is in order to profit from the suffering and pain of Yemeni patients,” local sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.


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