Ye­meni con­joined twins die

The Free Press Journal - - WORLD -

New­born Ye­meni con­joined twins whose plight sparked a plea for ur­gent med­i­cal treat­ment over­seas have died in Sanaa, rebels in the block­aded cap­i­tal said.

Ab­delkhaleq and Ab­del­rahim were born out­side Sanaa around two weeks ago and shared a kid­ney and a pair of legs but had sep­a­rate hearts and lungs.

The head of pae­di­atrics at Sanaa’s Al-Thawra hospi­tal, Dr Faisal al-Ba­bili, said his depart­ment lacked the fa­cil­i­ties to treat or sep­a­rate the new­born boys and ap­pealed on Wed­nes­day for help from abroad.

Huthi rebels, who have been fight­ing the Saudibacked govern­ment since 2014, blamed a Riyadh-led mil­i­tary coali­tion for the deaths af­ter “re­fus­ing to open Sanaa air­port to al­low them to get treat­ment”, ac­cord­ing to the rebels’ me­dia state­ment on Satur­day.

Late on Wed­nes­day, the head of Saudi Ara­bia’s King Sal­man Aid and Re­lief Cen­tre, Abdullah al-Rabeeah, said he had a team that was pre­pared to treat them.

Rebel-held ar­eas of Ye­men have been un­der block­ade by a Saudi-led mil­i­tary coali­tion since it in­ter­vened in sup­port of the be­lea­guered govern­ment in March 2015.

Health ser­vices have col­lapsed as the con­flict has ground on and most hos­pi­tals are not equipped to pro­vide spe­cial­ist treat­ment for rare con­di­tions.

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