UNICEF and the WHO yesterday warned of a sharp increase in the number of reported cholera cases in Yemen since the start of this year.
This came in a joint statement issued by Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, and Dr. Ahmed al-Mandhari, WHO regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean.
“In Yemen, since the beginning of the year till 17th March, nearly 109,000 cases of severe Acute Watery Diarrhea and suspected cholera were reported with 190 total associated deaths since January. Nearly one-third of the reported cases are children under the age of five years old,” it added.
According to the statement, the new epidemic comes two years after Yemen witnessed the largest outbreak of cholera and acute watery diarrhea in the world in which more than one million cases were reported.
The organisations said they feared the number of suspected cholera cases would increase “with the early arrival of the rainy season and as basic services, including lifesaving water systems and networks, have collapsed”.
“Our teams in Yemen are working day and night with a wide network of local partners to respond and stop the further spread and transmission of the diseases,” it added.
The two organisations called to lift all restrictions imposed on humanitarian operations aimed at responding to the spread of the disease.