More than 200000 suspected cholera cases in Yemen

Cheryl Sanders
June 25, 2017

A man and his wife infected with cholera lie on a bed at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen May 12, 2017.

A cholera outbreak in war-ravaged Yemen will probably have infected more than 300,000 people by September, up sharply from the current tally of almost 193,000 cases, the United Nations said Friday. But only a quarter of the people who have died so far were children.

The UNICEF representative says cholera cases are going down in 77 of the country's 333 districts where aid agencies have introduced the life-saving package of integrated measures.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera.

Although the disease is easily treatable, doing so in conflict-torn Yemen has proved particularly hard.

This is the second cholera outbreak in less than a year in Yemen, which population suffers from very poor health conditions due to the ongoing civil war between forces of the Haji movement Ansar Allah and President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. In a press briefing in Geneva, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, said: "During the more than two years since the conflict in Yemen began, marketplaces have been struck a number of times, causing loss of civilian lives".

Yemen is suffering from a cholera epidemic and Saudi Arabia has lately announced to be donating $66.7 million to help fight against the disease.

"This is the largest humanitarian crisis happening in the world at the moment", WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher told reporters.

According to United Nations officials, more than 10,000 people have been killed in the war, while more than 11 percent of the country's population has been displaced as a direct result of the conflict.

But more than half of those people will receive reduced rations because of a dire funding shortage, she warned.

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