Every year, Yemen’s Ministry of Health, donor countries and other multinational organisations give more than 300 medical travel grants to Yemenis with urgent need for specialised medical treatment abroad.
The Ministry of Health gives about USD500 and return tickets to Yemeni citizens with incurable diseases to seek treatment outside the country. Certain factors increase a patient’s chance to receive these grants: if the illness cannot be cured in Yemen, if the diagnosed illness is very rare, or if the disease is critical such as some kinds of cancer.
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), marrow surgery, some type of cancers, diabetes, chronic renal failure, hepatitis and innate deformation in children are some of the illnesses that push citizens to seek treatment abroad.
A local doctor Rasheed Al-Awadhireports said that DCM in children is difficult to treat in Yemen because it requires the child’s heart to be replaced, which cannot be done in Yemeni hospitals. He added that innate deformation in children is another problem that cannot be solved in the country.
Abdulkarim Abo Zaid of the Ministry of Health listed nine countries that provide medical grants to poor patients from Yemen. These are Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Russia, Algeria, Germany, America, and Saudi Arabia.