26 July 2016

Abdulla Moaidth with his wife after a dialysis session in Al-Jumhori Hospital, Sana’a. Photo: Malak Shaher/MSF

SANA’A - Dialysis treatment centers in Yemen are at a breaking point as they have been struggling since the beginning of the war to obtain materials needed for dialysis sessions, the international medical organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF), announced today.

Since the beginning of the recent crisis in March 2015, the ongoing war and import restrictions have badly affected the health system in the country and its ability to provide sufficient lifesaving medications to the medical facilities that are still functional.

“People with renal failure are at a critical moment as there is a lack of essential medical supplies in the country.  Patients usually need three dialysis sessions per week but under current circumstances, for most, this has been reduced to two sessions.” said William Turner, MSF head of mission in Yemen.

MSF is providing medications and supply that will be used to treat a total of 660 patients over a 6 month period.   Supplies have reached four dialysis centers in most urgent need in Sana’a, Hajja, Taiz and Al-Mahweet.

Patients at the Dialysis Treatment center, Al-Jumhori Hospital, Sana’a. Photo: Mohammed Sanabani/MSF

However most of the 28 functioning centers in Yemen lack supplies, causing interruptions in treatment to patients in need.  “If patients do not get their weekly sessions, they will die. It’s as simple as that,” said D. Adel Al-Hagami, head of the Dialysis Treatment Centre in Al-Jumhori Hospital in Sana’a.

MSF is calling on international organizations to step up and support these centers as more than 4,400 patients with renal failure are facing a life threatening condition, and are in a critical situation. 

 “There are treatment facilities in the country and adequate numbers of trained staff.  The imperative now is for these centers to receive regular medical supplies and continue to provide reliable life-saving treatment.  The war has crippled the health system’s financial ability to import the necessary supplies making the need for external support the highest priority” says Turner.

MSF is a medical international organization that provides lifesaving health care according to medical ethics. MSF is working in more than 70 countries in the world including Yemen.  In Yemen, MSF is working in eight Yemeni governorates, brought to Yemen more than 1400 tonnes of medical supplies and treated more than 41,000 war wounded since March 2015.

Find out more about MSF's work in Yemen