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Hospitals On The Brink As Cholera Kills 184 In Yemen’s Capital In Mere Days

submitted by Alison Thompson


More than half of the health facilities in Yemen are closed or partially functioning due to severe shortages in medicines, infrastructure, equipment and staff.  AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

The outbreak in Sanaa is the second in less than a year in the war-torn country. - by Rowaida Abdelaziz - May 16, 2017

 . . . At least 184 Yemenis have died of cholera just this weekend in the capital, which Houthi rebels have controlled for the past three years. On Sunday, the city declared a state of emergency and called for international help to deal with the crisis. Yemen’s health ministry, run by Houthi rebels, said on its news agency Saba that the outbreak was “unprecedented” and had become impossible “to contain.” There have also been cases of the disease have been reported in other major cities including Hodeidah, Taiz and Aden.



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Comments - 17 May 2017

 . . . It’s “a disaster”, 35-year old al-Asri says, watching Yemen’s epidemic take hold of his family and home city at a speed that is deeply worrisome – Shinjiro Murata, head of mission for Médecins Sans Frontières, which alone has treated 1,670 patients, told IRIN he is “very concerned that the disease will continue to spread and become out of control”.

Those controlling the capital – an uneasy alliance of Houthi rebels and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh – have this week declared a “state of emergency” in the city, which alone has 4,000 cases of cholera . . . 

How did we get here?

A Saudi Arabia-led regional coalition began airstrikes in a bid to restore President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power in March 2015 – some 5,000 civilians fatalities have been counted, although the actual toll is thought to be far higher.

Sana’a, controlled by the Houthi-Saleh alliance since September 2014, has borne the brunt of the sustained aerial bombardment. But aside from the deaths, the bombs have left an indelible mark on the city in terms of infrastructure destroyed, hospitals no longer operational . . . 

 . . . <The Trump administration> is set to complete a deal worth more than $100 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia . . .



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    - 17 May 2017 - CLICK ON THE MAP TO ENLARGE (1 page .PDF file)

The cholera outbreak is rapidly spreading in Yemen, with reported cases tripling over the last week. Since April 27, 11 000 suspected cholera cases have been reported across 18 governorates in Yemen. At least 180 people have reportedly died from the acute diarrhoeal disease, with local media reporting at least 115 of those have died in Sana'a city and governorate. According to media, 213 cholera cases are laboratory-confirmed.

On 14 May, local health authorities in Sana'a declared a state of emergency in Sana'a over cholera, and called for international support. Likewise, aid agencies have called for additional mobilization of resources to scale up their assistance urgently, and have qualified the outbreak as 'entirely preventable', blaming the Yemen blockade and economic crisis. The Cholera Task Force (CTF) has been reactivated by the MoPHP with support from WHO and UNICEF.

This is the second wave of cholera-associated deaths in a year in Yemen, where more than 8 million people lack access to drinking water and sanitation, and where barely 45% of health facilities are functional.

Yemen - Recent Cholera Cases, Food Insecurity and Population Displacement - DG ECHO Daily Map | 17/05/2017


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