SANA’A – The armed conflict in Yemen has caused more than 10,000 deaths in areas controlled by the Houthi rebels since the start of the Saudi-led intervention in March 2015, according to data published on Tuesday by the rebel government.
The deputy health minister, Abdul Salam al-Madani, said that authorities in the areas administered by the Houthis registered 10,363 fatalities from March 2015 to December 2017, including 2,066 children and 574 women.
Another 21,288 people were wounded, among them more than 3,000 minors, and 2,050 of the non-lethal casualties have permanent injuries, al-Madani said.
He also pointed to an estimated $109 million in damage to hospitals, clinics and medical equipment, crippling health-care services in the region’s poorest nation.
More than 48,000 employees in the health sector have not been paid for more than a year, he said.
Yemen, already enduring the largest cholera outbreak on record, with 1 million infections and upwards of 2,000 deaths, now faces a diphtheria epidemic affecting 18 of the country’s 22 provinces and blamed for 44 fatalities, the deputy minister said.
The breakdown of the health system has left 700,000 people who suffer from chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, without access to adequate treatment.
An average of two to three people with kidney disease die every week due to a lack of dialysis, Al-Madani said, while roughly 60 percent of cancer drugs are no longer available in Yemen.
More than 95,000 patients need to leave the country to receive medical treatment that cannot be provided amid the “catastrophic” state of Yemen’s health-care system, he said.