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Yemen national blood bank faces threat of closure

AP , Thursday 10 Aug 2017
An employee registers bags of blood at a blood transfusion centre in Sanaa, Yemen August 7, 2017. Picture taken August 7, 2017 (Reuters)
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The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support.

Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." He says the facility receives up to 3,000 cases monthly, including patients with cancer, thalassaemia, kidney failure and war wounds.

El-Shihari says Doctors Without Borders, known by the French acronym MSF, ended its two-year funding and asked the World Health Organization to help. He says so far the clinic has received none and supplies are running out.

Yemen has been crippled by a two-year war led by a Saudi-led coalition aiming to dislodge Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels who control the capital and much of the north.

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