The politics of exclusion: fighting for patients with Kidney failure in Yemen’s War
AffiliationMSF London; MSF OCA; MSF USA
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JournalJournal of Public Health
AbstractBackground To contribute toward the dialogue on addressing non-communicable and chronic disease in humanitarian emergencies, this article will explore the experiences of Médecins Sans Frontières in attempting to find support for the haemodialysis network in Yemen. With the changing profile of the global disease burden and a broadening concept of emergency health needs to include chronic illness and disability, the aid sector has committed through the World Humanitarian Summit and the Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind and thus to meet the health needs of these previously excluded and highly vulnerable people. The civil war in Yemen compromised the medical supply chain supporting the health facilities providing dialysis for patients with end-stage renal disease. The article will critique the aid sector’s slow response to this issue and expose the gap between principles, commitments, and practice related to noncommunicable disease in emergencies. Method Following direct experiences from the authors as leaders in the aid response in Yemen, reviews of grey literature from aid and health actors in Yemen were conducted along with a review of literature and policy documents related to noncommunicable disease in emergency. Key informant interviews and press statements supported analysis and events that took place in the time span of roughly 4 years that frames this period of analysis. Results Examination of the impacted patient population, interviews, literature and documented events indicates that there is discord between policy, commitments stated by aid donors and practice. Conclusion The aid sector must use a more contextualised approach when designing programmes to manage the burden of non-communicable diseases in health contexts where crises occur, particularly for lifesaving forms of therapy. Aid agencies and the global health community must increase pressure on donors and implementing agencies to live up to their commitments to include these patient populations.
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)