Cholera is spreading rapidly again in Yemen, and Save the Children warns that it is currently infecting 1,000 children per day:
An alarming spike in suspected cholera cases in Yemen is infecting 1,000 children every day, Save the Children is warning.
40,000 new cases were reported in just the last two weeks, a spike of 150% compared to the same period last month. More than a third were children under the age of fifteen – an average of 1,000 cases every day.
With heavy rains arriving, the outbreak is now set to spread even faster without urgent action, the aid organisation says.
Roughly half of the new cases this year have occurred in the last month, and those numbers are rising rapidly.
Malnourished children are particularly at risk of contracting the disease and once infected they are more likely to die from it. According to the report, 2 million children under the age of five will need treatment for acute malnutrition this year, and those children are at the greatest risk of succumbing to disease because of their weakened resistance.
Children suffering from cholera are also in greater danger of becoming malnourished:
Malnourished children have substantially reduced immune systems and are at least three times more likely to die if they contract cholera. Diarrhoeal diseases like cholera are also themselves a major cause of malnutrition.
Yemen’s infrastructure is devastated, many of its water and sewage treatment plants have been targeted by coalition airstrikes, and even cholera treatment centers set up by aid organizations have come under attack from Saudi jets.
Pumping clean water from wells has been made more difficult because of the fuel shortage created by the blockade.
The Saudi coalition has worked to create the terrible conditions that allow cholera to flourish, and they have also attacked the medical facilities that provide treatment. Their “weaponization of disease” hasn’t stopped, and a new outbreak is raging.