WHO says 1,146 killed due to cholera in Yemen since April

Pres TV – The World Health Organization says 1,146 people have been killed due to an outbreak of cholera in Yemen since late April, as the impoverished Arab country continues to suffer from Saudi Arabia’s deadly campaign.

The WHO’s Yemen office said in a statement late Monday that over 166,976 suspected cases of cholera had been registered in the country since April 27.

The northwestern province of Hajjah has recorded the highest number of deaths from the disease with 195 fatalities.

Yemeni public health authorities said on Saturday that Cholera had so far spread to 20 of the country’s 22 governorates or provinces.

On June 14, Save the Children voiced alarm over the raging spread of the cholera epidemic in war-torn Yemen, saying one child becomes infected every minute.

British charity Oxfam recently estimated that the waterborne disease now kills at least one person per hour in Yemen.

The international charity also said the rate with which the Yemenis are catching the disease had tripled in just two weeks, warning that the number of the infected could rise as high as 300,000. 

Cholera, which causes severe diarrhea and dehydration, is transmitted through contaminated drinking water and could prove fatal in up to 15 percent of untreated cases.

The ongoing war against Yemen has destroyed the country’s health sector, making it difficult to deal with the epidemic.

Over two years of war and conflict have reduced Yemen’s public healthcare capabilities by 55 percent. All operating hospitals and clinics are now over-burdened by the epidemic for lack of medicine, equipment and staff.

Nearly 3.3 million Yemeni people, including 2.1 million children, are currently suffering from acute malnutrition.

Yemenis wait outside a tent where patients infected with cholera are receiving treatment at Sabaeen Hospital in Sana’a, June 13, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

In March 2015, the Saudi regime and its allies began the campaign against Yemen to reinstall its former government. The war has killed over 12,000 civilians. The invasion has been compounded by a Saudi blockade of the country.

International organizations, including the United Nations and the Red Cross, say the Saudi-led war and the embargo may be responsible for the cholera epidemic. The Saudi aggression has taken a heavy toll on the poor country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.