Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Yemen cholera cases could hit 300000 within six months

Yemen cholera cases could hit 300000 within six months

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.

In Yemen, death toll due to Cholera has risen to 242 with almost 23,500 others sick during the past three weeks.

"The speed of the resurgence of this cholera epidemic is unprecedented", World Health Organization country representative for Yemen Nevio Zagaria said on Friday.

The cholera cases in the country could reach 300,000 within six months, Zagaria warned.

Zagaria added that numerous remaining health workers in the country had not been paid for seven months.

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.

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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Yemeni men suspected of being infected with cholera receive treatment at a hospital in Sanaa on May 12, 2017.

While the outbreak first erupted in October a year ago, the incidence of the disease dropped significantly in December, though it was never fully under control. But such numbers were too few, and the World Health Organization will release an emergency response plan in the next 48 hours, Zagaria said.

"The population is using water sources that are contaminated", he said.

He also called for providing Yemeni authorities with needed financial resources to make the necessary infrastructure repairs in order to halt the spread of the disease.

"KSRELIEF is working with the ministries of health of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen to arrange the treatment and prevention efforts", Rabia said in a statement, following a meeting with Yemeni President Abed Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who was visiting KSRELIEF headquarters in Riyadh on Thursday. The Saudi regime has failed to achieve its objectives.

Yemen's conflict has killed more than 8,000 people and wounded around 40,000 since March 2015, according to the WHO.

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