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Sunday, Dec 04, 2022

Yemen: Houthi-Run Hospital Holds Bodies of 22 Newborns

Yemen: Houthi-Run Hospital Holds Bodies of 22 Newborns

A Houthi-run hospital in Sanaa is keeping the dead bodies of 22 newborns whose families could not pay the discharge costs due to deteriorating living conditions.
In a precedent, the hospital published an ad in a Houthi-run newspaper calling on the bereaved families to come forth to pay their dues and receive the bodies of their newborns.

Houthi militia members who run the hospital threatened to take strict measures, such as burying the bodies, if families did not pay within 14 days from the date of the announcement.

They also vowed to pursue grieving parents and file lawsuits against them, obliging them to pay what they owe.

Houthis failed to disclose how long the hospital has been keeping the bodies.

Human rights defenders in Sanaa blamed poor living conditions suffered by Yemenis on Houthi corrupt policies, tampering and organized destruction of all state sectors.

A health sector worker told Asharq Al-Awsat that the guardian of one of the deceased newborns had been asking the hospital administration for a permit to discharge his child from the nursery for days.

The guardian had intended to transfer their baby to another hospital in Sanaa but was later surprised by their death at the Houthi-run nursery.

Moreover, the families of the 22 dead infants had visited the hospital administration more than once to negotiate a price reduction, yet to no avail.

Some of the families had resorted to selling their assets and belongings but were surprised by the doubled rates they were being charged by the hospital for keeping their deceased newborns in morgue coolers.

A human rights activist in Sanaa accused the same hospital administration of holding, in late August, a five-year-old child hostage, as a form of pressure to force their family to pay outstanding medical costs.
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