Miércoles, 20 Setiembre, 2017

Nearly 23500 cholera cases, 242 deaths in Yemen in three weeks

Danilo Martir | 19 May, 2017, 22:19

In Yemen, death toll due to Cholera has risen to 242 with almost 23,500 others sick during the past three weeks.

"The speed of the resurgence of this cholera epidemic is unprecedented", World Health Organization country representative for Yemen Nevio Zagaria told reporters in Geneva by phone from Yemen, warning that a quarter of a million people could become sick by the end of the year.

He said the death toll from the outbreak has already reached 240 and more than 50,000 cases have been registered in the past three weeks.

Earlier this week, the Houthi-run health ministry in the rebel-held capital Sanaa declared a state of emergency, saying the situation had worsened and that it was "unable to contain this disaster".

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According to the World Health Organization, two-thirds of the total population of the country are on the brink of starvation. It peaked in December 2016 and never fully went away, amid conflict between Government and Houthi-backed opposition forces that has left over half the country's medical facilities closed or damaged, and the economy in freefall. It warned that a quarter of a million people could become sick by the end of this year.

It launched an appeal for help from global humanitarian organisations to deal with the crisis.

Only a few medical facilities are still functioning and two-thirds of the population are without access to safe drinking water, the United Nations has said.

He also recommended that efforts be directed towards treating water sources, repairing the sewers system and raising awareness through different methodologies including community mobilisation. It can be fatal within hours if left untreated.

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While the outbreak first erupted in October previous year, the incidence of the disease dropped significantly in December, though it was never fully under control.

Most sufferers exhibit mild symptoms that can be treated with oral rehydration solution, but the disease can kill within hours in severe cases if not treated with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

About 17 million of Yemen's 26 million people lack sufficient food and at least three million malnourished children are in "grave peril", according to the UN.

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