Yemen: 7.6 million people live in areas at high risk of cholera — UN warns

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that an estimated 7.6 million people live in areas at high risk of cholera transmission in Yemen, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters here Monday.

Women walk past a pile of rubbish bags on a street during a strike by garbage collectors demanding delayed salaries in Sanaa, Yemen May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

“Inadequate sanitation infrastructure, coupled with displacement, overcrowded shelters and settlements, increase the risk of person-to-person cholera transmission,” Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.

In response, the UN is supporting 33 diarrhoea treatment centers in Yemen, and ten oral rehydration therapy centers have been opened, he said.

The UN has established two emergency centers, in Aden and Sana’a, with Rapid Response Teams to monitor and treat contaminated water sources, he added.

A cholera outbreak in Yemen has killed 51 people in two weeks and caused around 2,752 suspected cases since April 27, the World Health Organization (WHO) said last Thursday in a statement on its website.

The cases were reported from 10 provinces, including the capital Sanaa, according to the statement.

The cholera outbreak in Yemen was announced by Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population on Oct. 6, 2016.

Yemen, the impoverished Arab country in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, has been involved in a civil war since two years ago. The war pits Iranian-allied dominant Houthi movement, backed by forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, against their foe of Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, half of them civilians, and displaced over 2 millions, according to humanitarian agencies.