In war-torn Yemen, children aged 3 to 15 with leukemia have died after receiving smuggled drugs.
At least 10 children and teenagers being treated for leukemia have died after being given expired cancer drugs in Yemen’s Houthi rebel-controlled capital Sanaa, medical officials say. said the worker.
The Houthi health ministry said Friday that “10 children suffering from leukemia have died” at Kuwait hospitals, adding they were among a group of 19 patients aged between 3 and 15.
It said it had detected “bacterial contamination” in the injections given to the children, adding that the drugs were smuggled.
Another child is in “extremely critical condition,” it said.
Authorities did not disclose when the 10 deaths occurred.
A medical official in Sana’a told AFP on condition of anonymity for security reasons.
About 50 children and teenagers received the smuggled chemotherapy known as methotrexate, which was originally manufactured in India, according to six health officials and workers who told the Associated Press.
A total of 19 children and teenagers died from overdue treatments, they said.The officials and workers spoke on condition of anonymity because they had not been briefed to speak to the media.
Since civil war broke out in Yemen in 2014, access to basic resources such as food and medicine has been lacking. It has built extensive smuggling networks between the rebel-controlled Houthi rebels and areas run by the Saudi coalition.
According to several doctors in Sana’a, Houthi officials are secretly affiliated with drug smugglers, who are selling expired remedies from vaults across the country to private clinics. It is said that there are many. Doing so limits the Houthis’ access to safe treatments, they said.
The Houthi health ministry has blamed the deaths of the Saudi coalition for causing a shortage of available medicines in Houthi-controlled areas.It also said it had launched an investigation into the deaths.
The mother, who declined to name her deceased child, told AFP he had “various pains and the doctors prescribed sedatives, but the pain only got worse and he lost consciousness.” rice field.
The war between the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi militants has afflicted the country’s health sector and has now killed more than 150,000 people in what is considered one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. increase.
In early October, a nationwide ceasefire was not extended and fighting now threatens to flare up again. The Houthis have accused the United Nations of stalled negotiations that facilitated ceasefire talks, while the U.S. special envoy to Yemen accused rebel groups of hijacking peace talks through last-minute demands.