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Cholera count reaches half million mark in Yemen

Staff Writer | August 14, 2017
The total number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has hit the mark of half a million, which has claimed nearly 2,000 lives since the outbreak began to spread rapidly at the end of April, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Africa   World Health Organization
Even though the overall caseload nationwide has declined since early July, particularly in the worst affected areas, the number of suspected cases has continued to rage across the country, infecting an estimated 5,000 people per day, according to WHO statistics.

Yemen's cholera epidemic, currently the largest in the world, has spread rapidly due to deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions, as well as disruptions to the water supply across the country.

Millions of people are cut off from clean water, and waste collection has ceased in major cities.

However, "Yemen's health workers are operating in impossible conditions," said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

He referred to Yemen's collapsing health system, in which more than half of all health facilities are closed due to damage, destruction or lack of funds, shortages in medicines and supplies persistent and widespread, and 30,000 critical health workers have not been paid salaries in nearly a year.

"To save lives in Yemen today we must support the health system, especially the health workers," Tedros said. He also urged the Yemeni authorities and all other countries in the region to find a political solution to the long-lasting conflict.

"The people of Yemen cannot bear it much longer, they need peace to rebuild their lives and their country," he added.

The WHO and partners are currently setting up clinics, rehabilitate health facilities, deliver medical supplies and support Yemen's health response effort.


 

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