‘Contaminated’ medicine kills at least 10 children in Yemen

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Contaminated medication smuggled into war-torn Yemen has killed at least 10 children being treated for leukemia in the Houthi-held capital Sanaa, local authorities said Friday.

“Ten children suffering from leukemia have died” at the Kuwait Hospital, the Iran-backed Houthi’s health ministry said, adding they were among a group of 19 patients aged between three and 15 with the illness.

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It said “bacterial contamination” had been detected in the injections administered to the children, adding that the medication had been smuggled into the country.

Another child was in “highly critical condition,” it said.

The medication had passed its expiry date, a medical source in Sanaa told AFP, asking not to be identified for security reasons.

The source warned that the casualty toll could rise.

The health sector in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, has been devastated by years of war between the Houthis and Yemen’s government.

It has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, many through indirect causes such as hunger and disease.

The Houthis are often accused of blocking or holding up deliveries of humanitarian aid, on which 80 percent of Yemen’s 30-million population depend for their survival.

Read more: UN experts urge warring sides to renew truce in Yemen

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