Yemeni Health Ministry holds press conference on recent series of leukaemia deaths

Yemeni Health Ministry holds press conference on recent series of leukaemia deaths

The Ministry of Public Health and Population on Monday held in the capital Sana’a a press conference to inform the public of the details and latest developments in the case of the death of several of children with leukemia.

At the conference, Head of the Medical Council, Dr. Mujahid Ma’sar, indicated that as soon as he received the notification of this incident, the Minister of Health formed an investigation committee from the concerned authorities, which began to carry out its work.

Dr. Ma’sar explained that 29 cases received a dose of a smuggled drug, 10 of which did not experience complications, while 19 cases experienced complications, of which 10 children died and one case is intensive care room, and the condition of the rest improved. He indicated that two cases were also discovered that had drug complications in Hadhramaut province, one of which is in intensive care.

He pointed out that the committee investigated and sent the samples of medicines that were used to patients, which were purchased from a pharmacy, for examination in the laboratory of the Supreme Authority for Medicines and in a number of private hospitals and central health laboratories, and it was proven that the medicines batch was contaminated with deadly bacteria, which led to severe meningitis in children.

Dr. Ma’sar affirmed that the investigations have been completed and the case file has been referred to the Public Prosecutor.

He called on the United Nations to quickly open Sana’a International Airport and Yemeni ports in order to control and speed up the entry of medicines into the country to avoid such disasters and limit the entry of smuggled medicines to Yemen.

In turn, Head of the Supreme Authority for Medicines and Medical Supplies, Dr. Muhammad Al-Ghaili, confirmed that the complications of sick children came as a result of a drug smuggled from outside the country and reached a pharmacy in the capital, Sanaa, which was purchased by the patients’ families.

Dr. Al-Ghaili held the Saudi-led coalition responsible for the entry of smuggled medicines and the delay in the arrival of vital medicines, especially for chronic diseases.

For his part, Director of the leukemia treatment unit at Kuwait Hospital, Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Hadi, talked about the efforts of the cadres in the unit in caring for leukemia patients since the establishment of the unit until today.

He pointed out that 50 leukemia cases receive treatment weekly at the unit at Kuwait Hospital, and many of them are recovering, calling on the media not to be drawn into rumors and to verify the information before publishing it.