FILE: A dispensing chemist prepares drugs for a chemotherapy treatment in a sterile room at Antoine-Lacassagne Cancer Centre in Nice October 18, 2012. 

Expired chemo drugs kill 10 Yemeni children in Houthi rebel-held city: report

Houthi health officials in Yemen on Friday announced that expired doses of a cancer treatment found their way to leukemia patients and killed 10 children in the capital. 

The officials said that around 50 children had received an expired dose of chemotherapy treatment Methotrexate that had originated in India. The children ranged in age from three to 15 years old and died at Sanaa’s Kuwait Hospital after being injected with the drug, which had been smuggled into the capital. 

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

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

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The capital currently remains in Houthi control, with Iranian-backed Houthi forces taking command of the area in 2014 as part of a major offensive. Iran continues to back the Houthis – a major sticking point for critics of the U.S.-led efforts to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal. 

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

“This underscores the hypocrisy of the regime in Tehran, who receives billions of dollars that it puts back into its various terror projects around the world and into growing its nuclear weapons program with additional centrifuges and enrichment of uranium but has never had any regard for human rights or providing proper medical treatment and medicine,” Lisa Daftari, a Middle East expert and the editor-in-chief of The Foreign Desk, told Fox News Digital. 

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

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi displays the photo of Gen. Kasim Soleimani

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

“All of the hopes and aspirations of humankind are built on justice, and they have the capacity for the creation of such a framework of all-encompassing justice, which means elimination of injustice,” Raisi said. “We are defenders of a fight against injustice in all of its forms, against humanity, against spirituality, against the Almighty, against the people of the world.”

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The war in Yemen has created a humanitarian crisis, stranding the nation’s citizens with no access to basic resources, such as food and medicine. The lack of access has led to a thriving smuggling network across both the Houthi- and Saudi-held areas. 

Leader of the Houthi movement Abdul-Malik Badruddin al-Houthi addresses a rally marking the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad through a TV screen in Sanaa, Yemen, October 8, 2022. 

Leader of the Houthi movement Abdul-Malik Badruddin al-Houthi addresses a rally marking the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad through a TV screen in Sanaa, Yemen, October 8, 2022. 

Houthi officials have tried to handle the shortfall by working with smugglers to acquire expired drugs, which several doctors in Sanaa have said ends up even further limiting access to safe treatments. 

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

Saudi Arabia has contributed billions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Yemen since 2015.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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