Friday, 16 November, 2018

Almost 23500 cholera cases, 242 deaths in Yemen

Almost 23500 cholera cases, 242 deaths in Yemen Almost 23500 cholera cases, 242 deaths in Yemen
Orlando Vargas | 22 May, 2017, 17:44

The cholera outbreak in Yemen has killed 209 people in recent weeks with 17,200 suspected cases across the war-torn country, the United Nations children's agency said Wednesday.

Yemen has been ruined by two years of civil war, with 18.8 million people needing humanitarian aid, many of them on the brink of starvation, and less than 45 percent of health facilities fully functional.

"The speed of the resurgence of this cholera epidemic is unprecedented", Nevio Zagaria, WHO country representative for Yemen, told reporters during a conference call on Friday. People ill with cholera can become very sick and, when it is left untreated, death can occur within hours.

The official noted that the protracted collapse of Yemen's healthcare system and economy is hampering its ability to contain the enteric infection caused by the ingestion of water or food contaminated by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium.

NEW YORK/SANA'A, YEMEN, MAY 20, 2017-As cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhea rise across Yemen, the global medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warns that the outbreak is threatening to spiral out of control and calls for an urgent and appropriate response.

At the same time, he said, lacking electricity meant water pumping stations were only functioning in an intermittent way, and the sewer systems were damaged.

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But the epidemic could not be addressed without ensuring that healthworkers were paid, he said, after seven months of no public sector salary payments because of a central bank crisis.

"Yemen is seeing an average of more than 1,000 suspected cases of cholera a day, with almost two out of three suspected of being children under 15 years...."

This is the country's second cholera outbreak in less than a year.

Water and sanitation need urgent improvement to hold it back, he said.

Reining in the disease is particularly complicated in Yemen, where two years of devastating war between the Houthi rebels and government forces backed by a Saudi-led Arab military coalition has left more than half the country's medical facilities out of service. The campaign also aims to crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

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