The total blockade imposed by the Saudi-led Coalition on the port of Hodeidah poses a serious threat to millions of civilians, especially children and women, who are denied access to food and aid. Both Om Shu’aib and Om Abdul Rahman were victims of this siege.
Shu’aib, four years old, suffers from fever and acute diarrhea in a rural area of Hodeidah governorate. His mother used to spend sleepless nights beside him trying to help him recover from his illness. She was not able to take him to hospital, because there is no hospital close to this area except in the center of Hodeidah governorate. The family was suffering from extreme poverty. Shu’aib’s grandfather felt very sad for his grandson’s illness, which forced him to borrow some money from some neighbours in order to travel with him to the main hospital in Hodeidah.
However, the hospital has been struggling for more than seven years to save the lives of hundreds of patients, children, women and the elderly, depending on the available resources. In addition, during those years, the hospital was greatly affected by the siege, air strikes, power cuts and lack of supplies that prevented the hospital from providing the required healthcare services.
The doctors examined Shu’aib in front of his mother and grandfather and confirmed that the child needs special antibiotics to combat the bacteria that spread in his body. However, these antibiotics are not available in the hospital and they are expensive in pharmacies. As a result, the doctors were unable to save Shu’aib’s life. Of course, the hospital failed to provide some antibiotics and medicines that would save the lives of millions of patients who flock to the hospital, due to the siege and arbitrary restrictions imposed by the Saudi-led Coalition of War on Yemen. The helpless doctors were unable to save Shu’aib’s life and he died within one hour. While Om Shu’aib and the grandfather were crying and standing helplessly over the little boy who has passed away in front of their eyes, Om Abdul Rahman came to request the doctors in the hospital to save the life of her son, Abdul Rahman, who was laying on one of the hospital beds next to the bed on which Shu’aib died.
As Om Abdul Rahman was horrified by the tragic scene of Shu’aib’s death, the painful situation of his mother and grandfather, and the fate of hundreds of other children who are passing away day by day, she kept thinking about the fate of her son and asking herself whether her son’s fate would be the same as those children. Then, she collapsed and broke down in tears, especially when the doctors asked her to bring medicine from pharmacies outside the hospital.
She rushed looking for that medicine in all health centers and pharmacies but in vain. She was informed by all pharmacies that this medicine is not available in their pharmacies. They told her clearly that this medicine is not available in the Yemeni market, because the Saudi-led Coalition has prevented the entry of all essential materials needed for children as well as medicines.
In fact, the blockade imposed by the US-Saudi-Emirati Coalition stands in flagrant violation of international conventions, including the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). Those international rules and principles confirm that the Saudi-led Coalition countries should be held accountable and bear international responsibility for such crimes, as they have plunged Yemen and its people into famine and caused the death of thousands of women and children.