50,000 cases of thalassemia in Yemen: UNICEF

UNICEF announced on Wednesday that the cases of blood disorder, thalassemia in Yemen reached 50000 cases  while 700 new cases of thalassemia are identified yearly.

“In Yemen 700 new cases of thalassemia are diagnosed yearly,” the UNICEF said in a report published on Wednesday.

“50,000 cases are on record so far according to association of thalassemia. In a country ravaged by war, the optimum treatment of thalassemia is rare but a much-needed miracle,” it added.

Anas, a bright, 9-year-old boy in the third grade, is living with thalassemia and has benefited from the provision of support through the EHNP.  He receives a blood bag every three weeks and because of this, he is healthier and able to live life with a smile on his face.

After the Five-year war in Yemen that  resulting in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises,  almost half of health facilities have stopped functioning due to inadequate workforce, limited supplies, damage and ongoing insecurity.

Damage to water and sanitation systems has posed difficulty in accessing clean and safe drinking water, which is a major contributor to what has been the world’s largest cholera outbreak, affected over 2.2 million people since April 2017. This outbreak, along with other vaccine preventable disease outbreaks and unmet health needs, highlight the increasing need for critical life-saving humanitarian aid.

Globally, over 50,000 people are born each year with a severe form of thalassemia, an estimated 80% of these cases occur in developing countries.

Thalassemia is a blood disorder passed down through families (inherited) in which the body makes an abnormal form or inadequate amount of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in large numbers of red blood cells being destroyed, which leads to anemia.