Cases were registered in 19 different provinces. WHO: Within six months up to 250,000 people affected. Oxfam: A victim every hour, nation "on the edge of precipice". Stop the war and restore channels of humanitarian aid. Epidemic spread due to poor hygienic conditions and the shortage of medical facilities.
Sana'a (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The cholera epidemic that has hit Yemen, a nation shaken by over two years of bloody civil war, has caused at least 789 deaths and over 100,000 suspected cases of contagion, according to Tarik Jasarevic, spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO). He said, "101,820 possible cancers and 789 deaths have been reported to date in 19 different provinces."
In recent days, the WHO experts had launched the alarm, speaking of a real emergency, with up to 250,000 people at risk of being infected within the next six months.
In a statement published yesterday, Oxfam Director Sajjad Mohammed Sajid pointed out that at the moment in the Arab country there is a cholera victim every hour. “Yemen - added the expert - is on the edge of a precipice" and if the international community does not intervene drastically to limit the epidemic it will end up "threatening the lives of thousands of people in the coming months." A "ceasefire" and the restoration of humanitarian assistance is essential to stopping the epidemic. The spread of cholera is being fueled by poor sanitary conditions and the shortage of medical facilities. Over half of hospitals and clinics in the country have been seriously destroyed or damaged in the conflict and are almost unusable.
Since January 2015, Yemen has been fought over in a bloody civil war pitting the country’s predominantly Sunni leadership, led by former President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by Saudi Arabia, and Shia Houthi rebels, close to Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
So far, more than 8,000 people have died, more than 44,000 injured and 3 million displaced.
Interviewed by AsiaNews in recent days, Msgr. Paul Hinder, apostolic vicar of southern Arabia (UAE, Oman and Yemen), spoke of a "disastrous" situation. However, the prelate added, at present it is not possible to draw a complete picture of reality because "it is difficult to enter and have credible information" based on reality and not filtered by propaganda. Commenting on the very serious humanitarian emergency in the Arab country, rocked by 30 months of civil war, Msgr. Hinder called Yemen a "forgotten nation, in the face of other conflicts that seem more interesting" at a mediatic level. For this, he concluded "more attention" is needed.
UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs speaks of "scandal" caused "entirely by man". The belligerents and those who support them too, "direct, supply, fight and perpetrate" violence. Contagious cases have risen to 320,000, at least 1740 casualties. 250 million dollars needed to deal with the emergency, so far only 47 collected.
A joint note by Unicef and WHO experts. Suspected cases exceeded 200,000, victims over 1300; Of these, a quarter were children. There are 5,000 new cases per day. Almost 19 million people out of 28 million need assistance. Seven million are at the brink of famine. The health system has collapsed, endangering the supply of drinking water.
The Security Council unanimously approves an appeal addressed to all parties involved in the conflict. It is essential to ensure access to the port of Hodeida, which is a "vital still of salvation". Since the beginning of the cholera emergency 923 deaths, suspected cases have exceeded 124 thousand.
The capital Sana'a and the neighboring province of Amanat al-Semah is the epicenter of the epidemic. Poor hygiene conditions and poverty have favored the spread. WHO: Less than 45% of hospitals and clinics work full time. The war has damaged or destroyed at least 300 medical facilities.
More than 50 NGOs call on the UN Human Rights Council to set up an "independent" investigation into the crimes committed by both sides to the war. It is the world’s largest "humanitarian crisis". For Bishop Hinder, people “are getting used to the tragedy," a situation compounded by "scarce information coming from inside.” There seems to be no way out.