Local authorities say Cholera kills about 115 people in Yemen

Peoples Digest Online-  Local authorities on Monday said Cholera has killed no fewer than 115 people in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the local Saba news agency said. Local authorities had on Sunday declared a state of emergency over the outbreak and called for international help to avert disaster. Sanaa is controlled by the armed Houthi movement, which is aligned with Iran and fighting a Western-backed, Saudi-led coalition. No fewer than 10,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in more than two years of war, which has also destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure.

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. “What is happening today exceeds the capabilities of any healthy health system, so how can we (cope) when we are in these difficult and complicated conditions,” Saba quoted the Houthi-run administration’s health minister Mohammed Hafeedh as saying.

The ministry, after meeting in Sanaa with UN Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick and other international officials, called on humanitarian organisations and aid donors to help it avert an “unprecedented disaster”. It declared a “state of health emergency in the capital,” the agency said. Saba said 8,595 suspected cholera cases were recorded in Sanaa and other Yemeni provinces between April 27 and May 13, while laboratory confirmed cases were 213. The agency said acute diarrhoeal disease, which can be fatal within hours if left untreated, has killed 115 people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier put the death toll at 51. WHO has also said that 7.6 million people in Yemen live in areas at high risk of cholera transmission. A cholera epidemic late in 2016 petered out but outbreaks are becoming more frequent. WHO data has shown that Sanaa has been worst hit, followed by the surrounding province of Amanat al-Semah. Cases have also been reported in other major cities including Hodeidah, Taiz and Aden. The UN said some 17 million of Yemen’s 26 million people lack sufficient food and at least three million malnourished children are in “grave peril”

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