Number Of Yemen Cholera Cases Increasing At Alarming Pace, According To WHO Report


The World Health Organization revealed on Tuesday, Oct. 2, that the cholera outbreak in Yemen is getting worse, with 10,000 new cases reported every week.

Cholera Outbreak

Tarik Jasarevic, the spokesperson for WHO, said that the suspected cholera cases reported into September rose to 185,160. In comparison, from January to August, the suspected cholera cases reached 154,527.

"We have been seeing the number of cholera cases increasing in Yemen since June," he stated. "This increase has been even more important in the last three weeks."

In the first week of September alone, nearly 11,000 suspected cases were reported. Public health officials blame the rapid increase of cholera cases in Yemen to the Saudi Arabia-United Arab Emirates military offensive in June that damaged sanitation facilities and water stations.

The most affected area, Hodeidah, a port city, saw a significant increase in suspected cases of cholera, from 497 in June to 1,342 in August.

"The situation in Hodeidah has become unbearable because of the conflict," said Save the Children Hodeidah field manager, Mariam Aldogani. " I'm seeing more and more children coming in with suspected cholera."

WHO said that children account for 30 percent of cholera infections. On the other hand, the U.N. Children's Fund said that 1.8 million children in Yemen are malnourished and vulnerable to the disease.

A cholera outbreak was declared in Yemen in April 2017. Around 1.2 million suspected cases have been reported so far, with over 2,500 people dead.

The war in the region started in 2014 when the Houthis took over the majority of the country, including its capital Sanaa. A year later, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched air raids in an attempt to reinstate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Solving The Cholera Outbreak In Yemen

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that cholera can be treated with rehydration therapy (restoration of lost fluids and salts) and by taking antibiotics. However, Tamer Kirolos, the country director of Save The Children in Yemen, said that the ongoing war in the region has caused the near-collapse of the health care system, making it a lot more challenging for them to control the outbreak.

WHO continues to administer vaccinations in Hodeidah in the hopes of extending the program to the rest of the country.

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