Health Care

Cholera kills 1 500 in Yemen

Cholera kills 1 500 in Yemen”

About a week later, World Health Organization Representative in Yemen, Dr Nevio Zagaria said, "The geographical spread of cholera continues to increase".

The death toll has risen from the 1,300 announced last month, when the number of suspected cases was around 200,000, and there are now 5,000 new diagnoses a day.

The suspected cases have reached 246 000 as the epidemic has hit 21 out of the 23 provinces in the country, Dr Nevio Zagaria, the chief of World Health Organization, said in a press conference.

UNICEF's acting representative Sherin Varkey, for his part, said a quarter of the fatalities from the outbreak were children.

Although most of Yemen's health infrastructure had broken down and health workers had not been paid for more than six months, the WHO was paying "incentives" to doctors, nurses, cleaners and paramedics to staff an emergency cholera network.

Cholera is a bacterial infection which is contracted through contaminated food or water as well as fluids from the infected person.

A quarter of the dead so far are children, the United Nations health agency said.

Less than half of Yemen's medical centres are still functional.

Saudi Arabia and its regional partners have used the spectre of Iran to justify an extensive bombing campaign on Yemen's Shia Houthi rebels at the request of the exiled, internationally recognised Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The conflict has intensified in the past two years, and the latest outbreak of the cholera at the end of April led to the declaration of a state of emergency in Sana'a, which is held by anti-government fighters. About 10,3 million people are at risk of starvation and 14.5 million lack access to safe drinking water.

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