HRW accuses Houthis of hindering vaccination of medical staff in areas under their control

Republican Yemen

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said health workers in areas under the control of the Iran-linked Houthi insurgents have reported difficulties obtaining vaccines, warning that existing vaccines may expire before being used.

HRW accused the Houthi authorities of putting the lives of health workers at risk, for their unwillingness to take the pandemic seriously.

On June 1 the World Health Organization (WHO) said that a vaccination campaign would finally begin in Houthi-controlled areas, starting with 10,000 doses for healthcare workers.

HRW indicated that the Houthi rebels have prevented any information about the campaign to appear on the Houthi-run health ministry’s website.

Citing a report by the Yemeni Doctors Living Abroad Association, the New York-based human rights organization noted that at least 150 doctors working in Yemen have died from the Covid-19. It also said that a number of 97 health workers died last year from the pandemic, mostly in areas under the control of Houthi rebels.

“The death of health workers has serious consequences in a country with a healthcare system decimated by years of war, a shortage of medical professionals, and what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. It is estimated that only half of Yemen’s healthcare system is functioning and is heavily reliant on support from international donors, whose aid has decreased in recent years,” HRW said on its website.

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