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Cholera epidemic in Yemen has already killed 1,700 people - including many children


More than 300,000 cholera infections in Yemen - over 1,7000 deaths
The country of civil war Yemen is currently suffering from the worst cholera epidemic in the world. The number of cholera infections has risen to over 300,000. The disease has already claimed more than 1,700 deaths - including many children. Cholera can actually be treated relatively easily.

Over 1,7000 killed by cholera epidemic
The civil war in Yemen, which has been going on for years, has largely caused the country's health system to collapse. The grievances contribute to the rapid spread of diseases. Yemen is currently experiencing the world's worst cholera outbreak. As the Red Cross announced, the number of cholera cases in the country has risen to more than 300,000. According to a report by the AFP news agency, the organization warns that the epidemic is “out of control”. Over 1,700 people have already died from the infectious disease - including many children. There were still 1,600 fatalities on Monday.

Illness can actually be treated easily
"The cholera epidemic continues to spread in an uncontrolled manner," said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva.

Cholera bacteria are mainly spread through water that is contaminated with human feces. Among other things, the infection leads to severe diarrhea and vomiting. Due to the extreme loss of fluid, the disease can lead to death.

Cholera can actually be treated relatively easily and successfully, but in the civil war country, the epidemic will be difficult to control, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other experts.

Health care system is largely destroyed
The health care system in Yemen has been almost completely destroyed in the course of the violent conflicts in recent years.

There is a shortage of medication and the medical staff has not been paid for months. In addition, large sections of the population lack knowledge of how to prevent infection.

Many of the country's inhabitants are weakened because they do not have enough to eat. And about two thirds of the approximately 27 million inhabitants have no access to clean water. The sewage systems and waste disposal often no longer work.

Fatal consequences especially for children
The current cholera epidemic has fatal consequences, especially for children. "Children account for half of the suspected cholera cases and a quarter of the reported deaths," says a message from the UN children's aid organization UNICEF.

Dr. Meritxell Relano, UNICEF representative in Yemen, said in an earlier announcement: “The outbreak makes a bad situation drastically worse for children. Many of the children who died from the disease were also acutely malnourished. ”

Today, life for children in Yemen with cholera, malnutrition and the relentless violence of the civil war is more of a desperate struggle for survival.

The situation will probably not improve anytime soon. According to political observers, efforts to negotiate peace have come to a standstill.

The measures to contain the cholera epidemic will have to increase enormously in the coming months.

More international help needed
The MSF organization called for more international help in the fight against cholera.

In particular, "more help is urgently needed in Abs in northwestern Yemen," says a statement.

"Above all, the supply of people with clean water and sanitary facilities urgently needs to be improved to prevent the disease from spreading further," the experts report.

This was a major problem even before the epidemic broke out - now it is the main cause of the spread of the disease.

"Either something is happening now, or more people will fall ill in the next weeks and months," said Gabriel Sánchez, program manager at Doctors Without Borders.

"We not only have to take care of the patients, but also disinfect houses and treat water sources with chlorine," explained Christina Imaz, logistics coordinator of the organization. (ad)

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