Yemeni official has warned that the national blood bank in the country may be forced to close over lack of funds as the impoverished nation is struggling devastating situation due to Saudi war.
Yemen's National Blood Transfusion Center director, Dr. Adnan al-Hakimi, said on Tuesday that the crisis emerged after an international medical charity decided to end two years of its support.
"The center suffers from a complete shortage of supplies, including medical solutions, blood bags and medical needs," Hakimi said, adding, "We have issued an appeal to all civil society groups, businessmen and anyone interested in charity work to save the lives of those who are ill, injured or wounded so the center would not stop."
The remarks come as the Doctors Without Borders organization, also known by its French acronym MSF, informed the bank it was suspending its aid after more than two years of work.
MSF had been doing extensive work in Yemen since the Saudi military invasion began in 2015, operating hospitals and clinics and providing medical supplies to various facilities.
In a report in January, the international charity said it had been providing regular blood testing kits to the blood bank since September 2015.
Munir al-Zubaidi, a spokesman for the bank, said that patients suffering various diseases, including thalassaemia, cancer and kidney failures, as well as victims of the conflict stand to suffer if the bank closed down. "If the center stops, a catastrophe will hit the whole country."
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was trying to help by sending further supplies.
Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesman, has confirmed that the bank was at risk of closing.
"WHO is looking into ways to support the National Blood Transfusion Center," the UN health agency’s spokesman said, adding, "Supplies were ordered but have not reached Yemen as of now."
Yemen has been torn by the ongoing Saudi military aggression that has destroyed much of the country's infrastructure, including its health system.
The developments also come as the country of 27 million has also been struggling to cope with cholera. The epidemic has already affected some 600,000 people and killed nearly 2,000.
Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstate former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement. The Riyadh regime has, however, failed to reach its goals despite suffering great expenses.
The military aggression has claimed the lives of more than 12,000 people, mostly civilians.