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Thousands of Yemen dialysis patients risk dying: ICRC

50-year-old Souad Mohsen travels all the way from Ibb to Sana’a to attend her dialysis sessions at Al Joumhouri Hospital. ICRC Photo

Sanaa, Yemen | AFP | Thousands of Yemenis suffering from kidney failure risk dying unless dialysis centres in the war-torn country receive more supplies and their staff are paid, the Red Cross said Tuesday.

Yemen’s health sector has been devastated by three years of war between the Saudi-supported government and Iran-backed rebels who control the capital.

“An astonishing 25 percent of dialysis patients in Yemen have died every year since conflict began in 2015,” the International Committee for the Red Cross said.

“More dialysis supplies, functioning dialysis machines, and funding for staff salaries are urgently needed to ensure the mortality rate does not rise further for Yemen’s 4,400 renal failure patients,” the ICRC said in a statement.

“Without dialysis treatment, the outcome is fatal,” said Alexandre Faite, the ICRC’s head of delegation in Yemen.

More than 9,200 people have been killed since a Saudi-led military coalition intervened on the government’s side in 2015, leaving the country facing what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

Four dialysis centres have closed in Yemen since the war started and the remaining 28 struggle to provide services, with broken machines, a lack of essential supplies and unpaid staff, the ICRC said.

Many patients have cut back to two sessions a week instead of the recommended three.

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