Life and death in a Yemeni hospital

starsHAJJAH, Yemen — The infant was barely breathing when his uncle brought him to the hospital in a cardboard box. He was wrapped in a blue towel, and wads of cotton were stuffed around his frail body to keep him warm.

His mother had gone into labor when an airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition hit near their home in the town of Abs. The hospital there was destroyed by an airstrike in August. So the baby’s uncle put him in a pickup truck and drove three hours to the nearest government hospital, recalled Ahlia Ashumali, a nurse who received the baby.

A week later, Muhammad was still teetering between life and death. He weighed four pounds and was being fed through tubes.

Surviving even birth is a struggle in Yemen. After nearly two years of war, thousands of children and adults have died from easily treatable diseases, illnesses and injuries as the health-care system collapses.

The situation is deteriorating quickly. Vital drugs, vaccines and medical equipment often cannot enter the country because of an air, sea and land blockade imposed by the coalition.

Because of a banking crisis, traders cannot afford to import wheat and other staple foods, triggering alarms that hunger and illness could soon worsen. Government medical workers have not been paid in four months.

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SOURCE; News Now/ Stars Stripes

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About Cholo Brooks 13154 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.