The rate of cholera outbreak in Yemen has tripled in the last two weeks and now every minute a child is infected with this disease, which can be fatal if not treated properly, warned Wednesday Save The Children.
According to the latest data published by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are already at least 923 deaths and more than 124,000 cases of cholera suspected in the country. Almost half of the more than 5,470 cases of cholera or other related illnesses such as acute diarrhea that are identified every day occur in children under 15 years of age, said Save the Children, noting that this represents an average of 105 children each Hour and one every 35 seconds.
In addition, the epidemic kills more than 30 people each day and it is estimated that in the coming months there could be thousands of victims. According to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) a quarter of those killed by cholera to date are children.
In Yemen, a country ravaged by civil war for more than two years, there are more than 2 million children with acute malnutrition, leaving them particularly vulnerable to cholera, since their immune systems are weaker for face the disease.
However, the NGO stressed that treating cholera is simple and inexpensive if treatment is provided to patients on time, but the scarce infrastructures, food insecurity, economic crisis and conflict in the country make it difficult to access Hospitals that are overflowing and without supplies, he said. The situation is even more serious in the most remote areas of the country, where access to health services is very complicated or non-existent. Currently, only 45 percent of the country’s health centers are operating in Yemen.
Illness, hunger and war are causing chaos among the Yemeni population, Yemeni President Grant Pritchard, director of Save the Children in Yemen, warned that “the poorest regions in the country are on the verge of total collapse and children are dying because they can not access basic health care.”
“The unacceptable restrictions on bringing aid and medical supplies to Yemen, including long delays to access Hodeida’s main port and the closure of Sanaa airport, make the struggle to halt this deadly epidemic even more difficult,” he added.