Calls for international probe into deaths of 18 children

Calls for international probe into deaths of 18 children

AL-MUKALLA: Yemeni government officials and human rights groups have called for an independent international investigation into the deaths of 18 children with leukemia who were injected with expired medicine at a hospital in Houthi-controlled Sana’a.

Health workers at Kuwait University Hospital administered the chemotherapy drug methotrexate to about 50 children with cancer in late September, at least 18 of them, according to local media reports, independent organizations, and family members. One person died and another was sent to the intensive care unit.

Despite complaints from the children’s families, Houthi health officials tried to cover up the incident until earlier this month, when local media reported that the children with cancer died in a hospital in Sana’a.

The incident has been widely condemned and has called for an immediate independent investigation, with many Yemenis accusing the Houthis of handling expired contraband drugs.

The Geneva-based SAM Organization for Rights and Freedoms, the American Center for Justice, and the Bridges of Yemen issued a joint statement calling on international aid agencies in Yemen to investigate the case.

Bridges for Yemen President Hussam Al-Yafei said: “Houthi groups have become unreliable in dealing with this health condition, especially as the groups sell medical supplies such as medicines and consumables on the black market or store these medicines until they are damaged. After it was revealed by a press leak that

Houthi health officials denied requests for an investigation and refused to issue a death certificate, relatives said.

A relative of Ismail Mohammed, who died in the hospital, Faisal Al-Khawlani told his Belqees TV, 12-year-old Mohammed said he was vomiting and had a headache shortly after taking his usual chemotherapy meds on Sept. 24. said he suffered from

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Concerned family members contacted his doctor, who prescribed him painkillers and directed him to the nearest medical facility. When his health deteriorated, his family again sought medical help.

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