The charity Save the Children says there is a major cholera epidemic beginning in Yemen, and two million malnourished children are the most vulnerable to the disease.
A Cholera Epidemic?
According to the charity Save the Children, there is a fear of a major cholera outbreak in Yemen. It says that just this month, there have been nearly 250 deaths per day due to this disease. According to the World Health Organization, cholera is spreading at a worrying rate in the country.
The area with the most casualties appears to be Sanaa, where a state of emergency was declared last week. Save the Children says that the most vulnerable to the disease are the two million malnourished children in the country.
Cholera is a disease spread through water or food that is contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholorae. People who contract the disease suffer from vomiting and severe watery diarrhea. If untreated, victims can die of dehydration within hours. Cholera is also an easily treatable disease, but needs to be treated immediately.
According to WHO, there are less than 45 % fully functioning health facilities in Yemen, with nearly 300 that have been destroyed or damaged as conflicts rise between the rebel movement and the President’s forces. Save the Children says that restrictions on aid import should end immediately.
Comments on the Outbreak
MSF’s head of mission, Ghassan Abou Chaar said: “Before the outbreak, the health system was already overstretched and people’s health needs were already huge.”
“To bring the outbreak under control, it won’t be enough simply to treat those people who reach medical facilities. We also need to address the source of the disease, by improving water and sanitation and working in communities to prevent new cases.”