Yemen

WHO: Yemen cholera outbreak claims 34 lives in less than 2 weeks

The World Health Organization (WHO) says cholera has claimed the lives of at least 34 people across Yemen in less than two weeks, several months after the outbreak of the infectious disease was declared in the conflict-plagued impoverished Arab country.

A WHO official said on Tuesday that more than 2,000 were taken ill in nine governorates across the country.

“There have been 34 cholera-associated deaths and 2,022 cases of acute watery diarrhoea in nine governorates, including the capital Sana’a, during the period of April 27 to May 7,” AFP quoted the unnamed official as saying.

Doctors Without Borders also said on Tuesday it had independently treated more than 780 cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea in Yemen since March 30.

The charity group, also known as the MSF by its French acronym, said patients were traveling dozens of kilometers in difficult conditions to reach treatment centers.

Shinjiro Murata, the MSF’s head of mission in Yemen, expressed concern over the rising number of cholera cases.

“We are very concerned that the disease will continue to spread and become out of control,” Murata said, adding, “Humanitarian assistance… needs to be urgently scaled up to limit the spread of the outbreak and anticipate potential other ones.”

In early October last year, the WHO announced the grim news of cholera outbreak in Yemen, and three weeks later it reported that the number of cholera cases across the country, including the capital, had soared to hundreds.

Last year, nearly 130 people lost their lives due to an outbreak of cholera and acute watery diarrhea in Yemen.

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