The war in Yemen has caused a major health crisis across the country and kidney failures alone have taken 1,200 lives so far.
TAIZ, Yemen— On March 8, the Ministry of Human Rights in Sanaa revealed that more than 1,200 patients have died of kidney failure in the last three years of war, citing lack of medicines and frequent electricity outages in hospitals.
The ministry also stated that there are around 6,000 patients suffering from kidney failure, and they are most likely going to die due to lack of treatment.
We recently visited a clinic in Taiz, where we spoke to several people suffering from life-threatening kidney ailments.
"My name is Naaem Mohammed. I am in my 50s. I am from Samei district, which is about 70 kilometres away from Taiz. We have to go through rough, bumpy roads to get here, and the journey is difficult. Instead of coming here from home for treatment, I decided to live in Taiz. It’s been three years since I have moved here. The doctors tell us that we’ll be put off from dialysis. We will die eventually, but we still protest outside the hospital. At times, people come and help us with some medicines. The last protest was held two weeks ago."
"My name is Marwan Ali. I am in my 50s. I have been suffering from kidney failure for about two years. I need two sessions of dialysis every week. I manage to score free medicine, but I find it hard to pay for transportation."
"My name is Qaed Ghalib, and I am 58 years old. I am from Ibb province, and I came to Taiz two years ago for kidney dialysis. I live in here alone and my family is in Ibb province. I cannot visit my family because of undrivable roads. It takes us an entire day to pass through mountains to get to Taiz.
I rely on local donations. Some people donated YR5,000 ($10) and others YR10,000 ($20) to help me stay alive. If they stop my dialysis, I know I’ll die."
"My name is Ola Mansour, and I am a doctor. This centre is facing a shortage of medicines that are needed for dialysis. Many patients cannot afford decent housing in Taiz since they come from poor and far-off districts. Some of them sleep on the streets outside the hospital.
Each dialysis session continues for four hours, but they take only three hours because we are short staffed. Though we haven’t been paid for three years, we try our best to save some lives."
"My name is Abdulwahab al Sofiani. I am from Jabal Habashi, which is 40 kilometres from Taiz city. I have been receiving dialysis for eight years. I am jobless, and I’ll die if I take up the job of menial labour."
"My name is Shihab al Aghbari. I used to take dialysis in Hiafan district, which is between the borders of Lahj and Taiz. As the war broke out in Haifan, the centre was closed, so I came to Taiz.
But the war followed me here. This hospital has been targeted by the Houthis many times in the last three years.
Around 12 people died in the centre because of lack of required medicines for dialysis. I watched them die."
"My name is Saeed Mohammed. I have been suffering from kidney failure for the last nine years.
The government is unable to help nowadays. We are staring at death. Somebody should help us."
"I do not prefer to say my name but you can call me Um Adham (Adham's mother). I am from Saber Mountains, about 30 kilometres from Taiz, and I have been suffering from a kidney ailment for ten years.
My husband suffers from paralysis. My son is here with me. We live in a small room. The rest of the family is back in Saber.
There is no work in Saber. My sons used to work for landlords, but they fired them soon after the war began. I am handicap, can’t work with my hands, can’t lift heavy objects.
I have accumulated debt because of buying medication."
My name is Zain Ali, and I am 44 years old. I am from Samei district, 70 kilometres from Taiz city. I have been suffering from kidney failure for four years. I am also suffering from pain in my bones, and sometimes I cannot eat or move because of the pain.