Saudi-funded hospitals in Yemen’s Houthi-run areas treat thousands daily

The neonatal unit in al-Salam Hospital admits around 80 newborn babies each month. (MSF)

Saudi-funded hospitals in Yemen’s Hajjah and Saada- which are areas controlled by the Iran-backed Houthi militia- are fully supported by the Kingdom as it “strives to help those in need in all regions of Yemen,” according to Mohamed al-Jabir, the Saudi ambassador to Yemen.

“Al-Salam Hospital in Saada and the Saudi Hospital in Hajjah are operating with Saudi support to: Salaries, operation and maintenance, materials and medical equipment to support our brothers in Yemen,” said al-Jabir, who is also the supervisor of the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen, in a tweet.

The average number of daily visitors in al-Salam Hospital is 3,000, according to the official Saudi Hospitals in Yemen (SHY) website.

“Since Saudi Arabia established al-Salam Hospital in Saada in 1982, it has fully and regularly funded and supported this vital medical facility in all its operations and staffed it with qualified personnel. The Kingdom strives to help those in need in all regions of Yemen,” he added.

The Saudi Hospital in Hajjah has over 295 employees and a capacity of 150 beds, while the Saudi al-Salam Hospital in Saada has 284 employees and a capacity of 170 beds, the SHY website says.

Both hospitals offer treatment services in various departments, including outpatient, inpatient, emergency, and operations.

Doctors Without Borders

According to Medecins Sans Frontieres International (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, the neonatal unit in al-Salam Hospital admits around 80 newborn babies each month.

“Unfortunately here in our neonatal unit, we have quite a high mortality rate,” said Jane Hancock, an MSF nurse, in a video posted on MSF’s Twitter account.

“There is actually no other facility in the area for people to go to,” Hancock added.

“We take very extreme low birthweight babies and extremely premature babies,” Hancock said, adding that most patients “don’t just come from down the street, they come from hours away.”

Al-Jabir said that the Kingdom “deeply appreciates and supports the work of international agencies such as MSF in caring for the health and wellbeing of children and all people in Saada as in every other region of Yemen experiencing serious needs.”

Over two billion dollars for Yemen

As of June 2019, the Kingdom has donated over two billion dollars in 361 projects in Yemen, according to the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), with a focus on health and food security.

Over $500 million were donated in 68 projects related to food security, and over $400 million in 154 health-related projects. Donations were also made for humanitarian and emergency relief coordination and for water, sanitation, and hygiene projects.

Earlier in June, the Yemeni health minister said that KSRelief is the largest financier for the health sector and medical needs in Yemen, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

In April, Saudi Arabia and the UAE pledged $200 million to the “Imdaad” initiative to support the people of Yemen, according to Dr. Abdullah al-Rabeeah, the supervisor general of KSRelief.

The “Imdaad” initiative is an organized campaign that offers “urgent assistance to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people by meeting basic needs,” according to KSRelief.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:00 - GMT 07:00
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