Official says 25 patients die daily as result of continued closure of Sana'a airport

Sana'a (Debriefer)
2019-05-20 | Since 6 Month

Sana'a International Airport

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

A Yemeni official said on Sunday that 20 to 25 patients die every day for not being able to travel abroad for treatment because of the ban imposed on Sanaa International Airport by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition to support the "Legitimacy" in Yemen.

Houthi-run Yemeni "Saba" news agency reported that Dr. Mazen Ghanem, director general of air transport at the General Authority for Civil Aviation and Meteorology in the Houthis government, said that "about 240 thousand patients are in dire need to travel for treatment abroad and waiting for an unknown fate because of the closure of Sanaa International Airport by the coalition of aggression (Saudi-led Arab Coalition).

He pointed out that 20 to 25 patients die daily according to the statistics of the Ministry of Health because of their inability to travel from Sanaa International Airport for treatment abroad.

Dr. Mazen Ghanem claimed that the Arab coalition "deliberately kills patients suffering from incurable diseases and need to travel abroad for treatment by preventing them from traveling from Sanaa International Airport."

The Saudi-led military forces in support of Yemen's internationally recognized "legitimacy" government in its war against the Houthis have imposed a ban on commercial flights to and from Sanaa International Airport since early August 2016, claiming that the Houthis smuggle weapons and people through the airport.

Residents of the northern and western regions of Yemen are forced to travel outside Yemen to take a rough and dangerous 15-hour journey to the cities of Aden or Sayoun in Hadhramout province, which have limited flights to Yemen.

Earlier on Sunday, the Health Ministry of the Houthi Salvation Government said the closure of Sanaa International Airport had killed more than 30,000 patients who needed to travel abroad for treatment.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Youssef Al-Hadheri said the ministry needs to evacuate 300,000 cases, according to the Houthi-run "Al-Masirah" TV.

He called on the United Nations to provide the necessary equipment and medicines to treat thousands of cases and said: "What will the United Nations lose if it cooperates in transferring patients to countries that offered their assistance to the Yemeni people?"

The parties to the conflict did not reach agreement on the re-opening of Sana'a International Airport during their consultations in Sweden last December. The delegation of the legitimate Yemeni government agreed to open the airport for domestic flights, but the Houthis insist on opening it to international flights.

Yemen has been battered by a five-year armed conflict between the internationally recognised government backed by the Saudi-led coalition and the Iran-backed Houthis. The Houthis have been controlling the capital Sanaa and large parts of most densely populated northern, middle and western regions since they ousted the government in late 2014.

The conflict has caused what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

More than 24 million people, more than 80% of the country's population, are in need some form of humanitarian or protection assistance, including 8.4 million people who don't know where their next meal will come from, according to the UN.

And there are nearly 2 million children suffering from acute malnutrition, the UN said.

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