Cholera to Kill 1000s Yemenis until July: Save The Children

Alwaght– Save the Children organization warned that cholera outbreak in Yemen would claim lives of thousands of people if the deadly disease is not brought under control until July.

The London-based NGO cited its staff in Yemen as saying that “a deadly cholera outbreak could become a full blown-epidemic, with more than 65,000 cases expected by the end of June at current rates”.

The war-torn Yemen, where has been under Saudi Arabia’s deadly bombardment since 2015, is seeing an average of more than 1,000 suspected cases of cholera a day, with nearly two out of three suspected of being children under 15 years, the international organization cautioned.

Reporting that at least 242 people have already died from the spread of cholera in the first three weeks of this outbreak, the global humanitarian organization warned that the illness is spreading too fast to be brought under control without adequate resources.

Saudi regime’s aggression on Yemen, now in its third year, and the oil-rich kingdoms’ all-out blockade on the neighboring Yemeni nation are hampering the delivery of crucial humanitarian supplies, including food and medicine, while the indiscriminate airstrikes have brought the health system, sanitation facilities water treatment plants and civil infrastructure to the breaking point.

The collapse of the economy has led to civil servants, including public sanitation workers, not being paid for eight months, which has meant that “garbage-laden water has been running through the streets of Sana’a when it rains,” creating the perfect conditions for a disease that has mostly been eliminated even in the developing world, says Sara Tesorieri, Advocacy and Policy Adviser for Norwegian Refugee Council in Yemen.

Carolyn Miles, President of Save the Children voiced deep concern over the epidemic , saying “If the cholera crisis isn’t brought under control by the start of the next rainy season in July, we could see deaths in the thousands rather than hundreds”.

“Children whose bodies have been weakened by malnutrition are the most vulnerable to cholera/AWD and there are 2.2 million malnourished children in Yemen. Already, every ten minutes a child under five dies of preventable causes,” she added.

Rubbish is piled up in the streets, which has now contaminated water supplies after heavy rains caused flooding. And a second rainy season is on the way. Meanwhile, continuing air strikes have left some sewage pipes in ruins. Less than half of all health facilities in Yemen are operational while two-thirds of the population – or 14 million people – have no access to safe drinking water.

Doctor Zaid at a hospital in Sanaa told Save the Children, “Last week, we received 2-3 suspected cases per minute. I personally received 180 cases in one day last month. The number of patients in need is shocking. People lay in the corridors, and in some cases we have had to put six children on one bed as there are not enough to go around. We ask the international organizations to scale up their response. We face many challenges in this hospital. We lack medicines and medical supplies. We do not have enough doctors and nurses. We don’t even have a hand-washing station.”

Muhsin Siddiquey, Yemen Acting Country Director, Save the Children, says “Children are dying from an entirely preventable disease right in front of our eyes. Save the Children can turn the situation around by raising public awareness, assisting in running Diarrhea Treatment Centers, distributing medical supplies and oral rehydration kits. But we need ongoing restrictions on imports of medical supplies to be lifted and funding to come in straight away before it is too late.”

However, it seems that such pleas fall on deaf ears as international powers not only do not force Saudi Arabia to put an end to its brutal campaign on most impoverished Arab nation, rather they encourage the despotic regime to continue its inhuman measures.

The US president at his first foreign trip chose Saudi Arabia and inked on Sunday with Al Saud rulers an arms deal worth $350 billon.

By signing the arms deal with a despotic monarch, the US has effectively guaranteed unconditional support for ruling Al Saud in its war on Yemen.