600,000 Ye­me­nis could con­tract cholera in 2017

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

ADEN, Ye­men: More than 600,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to con­tract cholera in Ye­men this year, the In­ter­na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross warned yes­ter­day as the war-torn coun­try’s health­care sys­tem faces col­lapse. One in ev­ery 45 Ye­me­nis will have con­tracted the dis­ease by De­cem­ber as “a di­rect con­se­quence of a con­flict that has dev­as­tated civil­ian in­fra­struc­ture and brought the whole health sys­tem to its knees,” the ICRC said in a state­ment.

More than 370,000 peo­ple have fallen ill and 1,800 have died since late April in Ye­men’s sec­ond cholera out­break in less than a year. Ac­cord­ing to the ICRC and the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, a war be­tween the Saudi-backed gov­ern­ment and Iran-backed Huthi rebels has killed thou­sands of peo­ple and dis­placed mil­lions.

Fur­ther­more, a string of vi­tal ports along the coun­try’s Red Sea coast­line are block­aded, leav­ing mil­lions of peo­ple with lim­ited ac­cess to food and medicine. Less than half of the coun­try’s med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties are cur­rently func­tional and the war in Ye­men, one of the world’s most im­pov­er­ished coun­tries, has killed more than 8,000 peo­ple and wounded a fur­ther 44,500 since Saudi Ara­bia and its al­lies joined the con­flict in 2015.—AFP

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