Doctors in Yemen’s besieged city of Taiz have warned that the humanitarian situation is deteriorating as militias are targeting hospitals while various epidemics are spreading across the province.
Hospitals in Taiz are routinely shelled by militia forces, mainly Houthi and forces loyal to former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Armed groups looting hospitals is becoming more common.
The director of the Tuberculosis Control Centre Dr Yassin Athuri told Aden Ghad that the hospital has been looted by gunmen who leave nothing behind. The hospital has been unable to function since the start of the war because it was looted by Houthis and Saleh forces.
Athuri stated that that there have been 182 cases of tuberculosis in the province since the start of the year. “The average death rate for those diagnosed with tuberculosis in Taiz is 50 per cent,” he said. Tuberculosis is not the only disease that is on the rise, cholera, which is prevalent in Aden, is also on the rise across the whole province.
In Taiz’s port city of Mocha, there are already 65 suspected cases of cholera alone. The siege executed by Houthi and pro Saleh militias on Taiz means there is a severe shortage in water. When water is available, even in areas that are not besieged, it is usually contaminated.
Dengue fever and malaria are also spreading fast in Taiz. The outbreak of dengue fever began last year when the siege on Taiz began. The lack of medical supplies meant the outbreak has grown significantly. Because Taiz’s climate is ideal for mosquitos, both malaria and dengue fever were spread considerably faster.
In the last three months alone, 150 cases of dengue fever and malaria were documented by Al Thawra Hospital, Taiz’s largest hospital.