Yemen: War in the time of cholera


 With over 20 million reliant on aid, Yemen is the world’s single largest humanitarian crisis. Now it’s in the grip of a deadly cholera outbreak.

On 5 May, the Ministry of Health and Population in Sana’a declared a state of emergency. Less than three months later, over 350,000 people are suspected to be ill with cholera, while more than 1,800 people have lost their lives to the disease.

With the country’s health care system decimated by two years of war, health-care workers are struggling to cope. Today, only 45% of hospitals are operational, while medicines and medical supplies are in short supply.

“Children dying in hospital hallways. Four sick people crammed into one bed.” #Yemen‘s devastating cholera outbreak:

— ICRC (@ICRC) June 25, 2017

“The disease should not be so ferocious. Preventing cholera is pretty simple in theory: wash your hands with clean water, drink clean water, and eat food that has been boiled or cooked.

But clean water in Yemen is a luxury. Municipal workers in Sanaa have not been paid in months. And so we have no electricity, rubbish piling high in the street, and a crippled water system.”

Said Johannes Bruwer in an article on BBC website: The horrors of Yemen’s spiralling cholera crisis.

In response to this unprecedented epidemic, ICRC have sent critical medical supplies from seven countries, including IV fluids, oral rehydration salts, antibiotics and chlorine tablets, supporting 17 cholera treatment facilities around the country.