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Cholera kills 25 people in Yemen in single week: WHO

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A girl infected with cholera sits on a chair at a hospital in the capital Sana'a, Yemen, May 7, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

The World Health Organization (WHO) says cholera claimed the lives of 25 people in Yemen last week, several months after the outbreak of the infectious disease was declared in the war-torn Arab country.

“(This) is extremely alarming. We are facing a reactivation of the cholera epidemic,” further said Nevio Zagaria, WHO's acting representative in Yemen, on Monday.

Back in October last year, the United Nations agency reported that the number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen had soared to 1,410, some three weeks after it announced the grim news of the cholera outbreak in country.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It is a fast-developing infection that causes diarrhea, which can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death in up to 15 percent of untreated cases.

“The cause is that there is two years of war in Yemen. There is a huge impact on the infrastructure, the electricity power is on and off, the water pumping stations are not functioning regularly and this has an impact on the quality of water," Zagaria added.

The new toll emerged a day after the international medical charity of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced that its medics had detected and treated over 570 suspected cases of cholera in the previous three weeks. 

Women help a young relative infected with cholera at a hospital in the capital Sana'a, Yemen, May 7, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Last year, nearly 130 people lost their lives due to an outbreak of cholera and acute watery diarrhea in Yemen.

Since March 2015, Yemen has been heavily bombarded by Saudi warplanes as part of a brutal campaign against the impoverished country in an attempt to crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstall the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The relentless airstrikes have put more than half of all health facilities in Yemen in a state of complete or partial shutdown. Furthermore, there are critical shortages in medical staff in over 40 percent of all districts, according to the Health Ministry.

Rubbish bags pile up on a street during a strike by garbage collectors demanding delayed salaries in the capital Sana'a, Yemen, May 8, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

The Saudi airstrikes do not even spare the MSF medical centers in Yemen. In mid-August last year, at least 19 people were killed and 24 others sustained injuries when a Saudi airstrike hit an MSF hospital in Hajjah’s Abs district. It was the fifth and deadliest attack on an MSF-supported facility in Yemen.

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

Latest tallies show that the war has so far killed over 12,000 Yemenis and wounded thousands more. 


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