|  | 

Foreign Affairs

Kids and deadly stings: how Iranian children die due to lack of USsanctioned medicine

Chabahar,Chilbon, July 6, half past eight at night. 6yearold Abdulrahman Baluchi is rushed to the nearest hospital, some 30 kilometres away on a dirt road after he was stung by several Oriental hornets.

Four hours later as he makes it to the empty clinic in Mahban Dehestan, he dies as there were no doctors there at the time.

Chilbon is a small village in Gorgan District of the Mahban Dehestan, 80 kilometers away from Nikshahr, the nearest big city in the southeastern Sistan and Baluchistan Province.

Abdulrahman is not an isolated case. Over the past several months, four kids have died of scorpion stings in three villages of Nikshahr County.

These children have fallen victim because of lack of medication, such as antivenom serums, that don't make it to rural clinics in farfetched and hardtoreach areas in the vast Sistan and Baluchistan.

Chilbon is 80 kilometers away from Nikshahr, 30 kilometres of which is dirt road. There are many small villages in the region that are hardly connected by goodquality roads to the nearest big cities where there are better medical equipment.

IRNA has found out that there aren't enough such serums like antiscorpion venom serum, even in Nikshahr's 22 Bahman Hospital, the biggest regional medical facility. Speaking to nurses and hospital officials, IRNA was told that sanctions and shortages are the main reason behind a lack of such vital medication.

Hamzeh Amiri, a resident of Nikshahr says he himself went to find out the truth behind the situation. I went to see the storage of venom serums in one of the hospitals and found out that there aren't any, he told IRNA.

Sanctions, I was told he said when he asked about the reason for the lack of the medication.

Ali Mohammad Mirzehi, a member of Nikshahr City Council, and also a relative of the kid, mentioned that local officials used to buy serums, equipment and other necessary stuff from the International Red Cross, but due to sanctions and bad economy, it's been very difficult to do so. There is no more of spraying antivenom chemicals, he said, expressing regret that the local population should suffer from the unilateral US sanctions.

Humanitarian goods are supposedly exempt from the US extraterritorial sanctions that were reimposed on Iran in August and October last year. However, the US move to stifle any international banking relations with Iran has practically blocked humanitarian assistance and trade as well.

There are plenty of the Oriental hornets during summer as it's the time for dates to ripen. They gather in groups and hide in every corner, making them dangerous for kids who play on the streets, according to Mirzehi.

Unfortunately, due to sanctions and bad economic situation, authorities can't supply the regional clinics with antivenom serums, he added.

Earlier in July, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the BBC that people are dying in Iran because they can't get their hands on necessary medication. Zarif has accused the US of engaging in an "economic war" by applying economic sanctions on the country that are targeting ordinary citizens.

Tehran has urged the US time and again to lift the sanctions and return to the multilateral nuclear deal of 2015 from which it withdrew last year.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA

The iran News Gazette is mainly concerned with news and information about the Arab region and also covers international issues. Its main objective is to provide reliable and verified information on the Arab region for publishing on the digital landscape.