Cancer patients in Yemen face slow death as treatment options diminish

In Yemen, around 55,000 cancer patients receive treatment in the National Oncology Centre in Sana’aIn Yemen, around 55 000 cancer patients receive treatment in the National Oncology Centre in Sana’a4 February 2018 – The life of cancer patients in Yemen have been aggravated by the 3-year-old conflict, which has led to the gradual collapse of the health system and driven millions of people into poverty. Even prior to the crisis, cancer patients suffered from serious economic challenges which hindered the regularity of their treatment.

Most families of cancer patients struggle to afford the cost of treatment, including expensive medicines, transportation and accommodation.

In Yemen, more than 60 000 cancer patients (12 percent of whom are children) receive treatment in the National Oncology Centre in Sana’a since 2005. But the Centre, which receives patients from across the country, had its annual budget totally stopped. 

Before the crisis, the Government used to provide the centre with around US$ 12 million a year, but the Centre has not received any funding for around 2 years, leaving it totally dependent on limited external support.

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In focus

Situation reports

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Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 25 235
Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure) 3.9
Primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 1.5
Life expectancy 65.7

Source: Country statistical profiles 2017

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