Yemen national blood bank faces threat of closure

August 10, 2017 by Menna Zaki
A man donates blood in National Blood Transfusion and Research Centre in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support. Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Yemen's national blood bank faces a complete shutdown within a week after a medical aid charity ended its two-year support, the facility's director said on Thursday, warning that the closure could exacerbate the existing humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

Doctors Without Borders, known by the French acronym MSF, gave out its last donation to the in June after it signed an agreement with U.N. World Health Organization handing over the support to the U.N. agency.

"Supplies are running out," Ayman al-Shihari told The Associated Press over the phone from the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

The MSF supplies cover only two months.

Al-Shihari added that the facility has yet to receive any aid from the WHO.

Yemen is facing the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The two-year-long war has crippled the country's health system, depleted access to safe drinking water and put millions on the brink of famine.

Al-Shihari said that the bank's closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe," noting that the facility receives up to 3,000 cases monthly, including patients with cancer, thalassaemia, kidney failure and those wounded in the war. Thalassemia is a hereditary form of anemia that requires regular transfusions.

A Saudi-led coalition embarked on a campaign in March 2015 in Yemen with the aim of dislodging Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels who control the capital and much of the north and restoring to power the internationally-recognized government of Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi.

The stalemated war has killed at least 10,000 people and has led to extensive civilian suffering with 17 million going hungry and nearly 80 percent of Yemeni children in need of humanitarian assistance, according to U.N. figures.

A man donates blood in National Blood Transfusion and Research Centre in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support. Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

A man donates blood in National Blood Transfusion and Research Centre in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support. Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
A man donates blood in National Blood Transfusion and Research Centre in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support. Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
People donate blood in the National Blood Transfusion and Research Centre in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support. Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Explore further: Yemen famine risk rising as cholera diverts resources: UN

Related Stories

Yemen famine risk rising as cholera diverts resources: UN

July 6, 2017
Aid groups have pulled resources from the fight against malnutrition to battle cholera in Yemen, raising the risk of famine as they struggle to find funds, a UN official said Thursday.

80% of Yemen children in need of immediate aid: UN

July 26, 2017
A vicious combination of war, cholera and hunger has left 80 percent of Yemeni children in desperate need of aid, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Yemen cholera toll nears 1,000 as 'humanity loses out to politics'

June 8, 2017
The death toll from a cholera outbreak is approaching 1,000 in Yemen, a war-devastated and impoverished country where "humanity is losing out to politics", a senior UN official said Thursday.

UN confirms 58 cholera cases across Yemen

May 11, 2017
The United Nations on Thursday confirmed 58 cases of cholera and 47 cholera-associated deaths across war-torn Yemen in the past two weeks, the second such outbreak in a year.

UN: Yemen unlikely to get cholera vaccine as first planned

July 11, 2017
U.N. officials said Tuesday that plans to ship as many as 1 million doses of cholera vaccine to Yemen are likely to be shelved over security, access and logistical challenges, even as the deadly caseload continues to balloon ...

ICRC says 600,000 Yemenis could contract cholera in 2017

July 23, 2017
More than 600,000 people are expected to contract cholera in Yemen this year, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned Sunday as the war-torn country's healthcare system faces collapse.

Recommended for you

Poor sleep could lead to heavier drinking in young adults, study finds

December 8, 2017
A shortened night of sleep may increase young adults' risk of heavier drinking, according to a new Yale study that assessed reciprocal variations in sleep and drinking over time in young adults.

Researchers say nutritional labeling for sodium doesn't work

December 8, 2017
Potato chips, frozen pizza, a fast food hamburger-these foods are popular in the American diet and saturated with sodium. Though eating too much can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease, 90 percent of Americans eat ...

Observation care may save more than thought

December 8, 2017
In the world of health care spending policy, it usually works that as Medicare goes so goes private insurance on matters of managing the cost and quality of care.

Screen time before bed linked with less sleep, higher BMIs in kids

December 7, 2017
It may be tempting to let your kids stay up late playing games on their smartphones, but using digital devices before bed may contribute to sleep and nutrition problems in children, according to Penn State College of Medicine ...

Mindful yoga can reduce risky behaviors in troubled youth, says research

December 7, 2017
For some young people, dealing with life stressors like exposure to violence and family disruption often means turning to negative, risky behaviors—yet little is known about what can intervene to stop this cycle.

Teen girls 'bombarded and confused' by sexting requests: study

December 7, 2017
Adolescent women feel intense pressure to send sexual images to men, but they lack the tools to cope with their concerns and the potential consequences, according to new Northwestern University research published Wednesday, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.