Neglect, and medical errors claim more lives [Archives:2003/670/Community]

September 22 2003

Taiz, 20 September – The number of people victimized in Yemen because of inefficient medical services, neglect or lack of professional safety expertise has increased substantially over the last few years.
Mr. Ali Abdualrahman, a worker in a cement factory, had an accident some time ago, in which he broke his right arm. He was then taken to the Thawra general hospital, where he underwent an operation. As time passed, his case got worse and upon checking his arm, it was found that a serious mistake was committed in the first operation so he had to do another, which was a risky operation that could lead to the total amputation of his hand. Today, his arm is still not recovering.
The number of patients who die because of medical errors and lack of expertise or equipment is also on the rise in Taiz, Aden, Hodeidah and other governorates. Many activists and regular citizens have called upon the authorities to investigate the reasons behind this concerning increase in the number of victims of medical errors.
There are currently four cases in the Aden court related to neglect and medical accidents that resulted in the death of a number of people. For example, in the Aden Jumhori Hospital a patient died upon the transfer of HIV infected blood by a hospital nurse. In other cases, four people died while being operated in the emergency room when a power blockage in the hospital lasted for 15 hours.
In Taiz, a number of people died in various private clinics after receiving anesthetic injections without proper allergy examinations.
In Hodeidah, people still remember how Neema, a 70-year-old woman, died in Ulofi hospital because of the lack of any single Oxygen tube.
The increasing number of deaths due to such accidents has resulted in a campaign in opposition media to try to control the situation. However hospitals are becoming increasingly agitated by such media reports to the level that many have prevented journalists from entering hospitals by hiring guards at the gates.