Expired chemotherapy drugs kill 10 Yemeni children in Houthi rebel-held town: report

On Friday, Houthi health officials in Yemen announced that expired doses of a cancer treatment ended up in leukemia patients and killed 10 children in the capital.

Officials said about 50 children received an expired dose of methotrexate chemotherapy treatment from India. The children ranged in age from three to 15 and died in Kuwait Hospital in Sanaa after being injected with drugs, which had been smuggled into the capital.

The family of one child said their son experienced pain and cramps after receiving the treatment and then died five days later.

“The worst thing is that the hospital administration tried to hide the truth from us,” said the boy’s father, who asked not to be named for his safety and that of his family.

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The capital currently remains under Houthi control, with Iran-backed Houthi forces seizing command of the region in 2014 in a major offensive. Iran continues to back the Houthis – a major sticking point for critics of US-led efforts to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal.

FILE: A dispensing pharmacist prepares drugs for chemotherapy treatment in a sterile room at the Antoine-Lacassagne Cancer Center in Nice October 18, 2012.
(Reuters/Eric Gaillard)

“It underscores the hypocrisy of the regime in Tehran, which receives billions of dollars which it reinvests in its various terrorist projects around the world and in the growth of its nuclear weapons program with additional centrifuges and the enrichment of uranium, but never had the slightest respect for human rights or provide proper medical treatment and medicine,” Lisa Daftari, Middle East expert and editor of The Foreign Desk, told Fox News Digital.

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in September, insisted that his government stands for “justice” and “will fight against injustice in all its forms”.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi displays photo of General Kasim Soleimani

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi displays photo of General Kasim Soleimani
(Peter Aitken for Fox News Digital)

“All of humanity’s hopes and aspirations rest on justice, and they have the capacity to create such a framework of global justice, which means the elimination of injustice,” Raisi said. “We are the defenders of a fight against injustice in all its forms, against humanity, against spirituality, against the Almighty, against the peoples of the world.”

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The war in Yemen has created a humanitarian crisis, stranding the country’s citizens without access to basic resources, such as food and medicine. Lack of access has led to a thriving smuggling network in areas controlled by the Houthis and the Saudis.

Houthi movement leader Abdul-Malik Badruddin al-Houthi addresses a rally marking the Prophet Muhammad's birthday on a television screen in Sanaa, Yemen, October 8, 2022.

Houthi movement leader Abdul-Malik Badruddin al-Houthi addresses a rally marking the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday on a television screen in Sanaa, Yemen, October 8, 2022.

Houthi officials have tried to manage the shortfall by working with smugglers to acquire expired drugs, which several Sanaa doctors say ends up further limiting access to safe treatment.

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The Houthi health ministry said it had opened an investigation into the incident. In his statement, he blamed the death on Saudi coalition forces for causing a lack of available medicine in Houthi-controlled areas.

Saudi Arabia has poured billions of dollars in humanitarian aid into Yemen since 2015.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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