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ICRC Says Yemen Cholera Cases Will Double

A Yemeni man suspected of being infected with cholera receives treatment at a makeshift hospital in Sana’a on July 13.A Yemeni man suspected of being infected with cholera receives treatment at a makeshift hospital in Sana’a on July 13.

The number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen is expected to at least double by the yearend to over 600,000, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Sunday.

“The country’s unprecedented cholera outbreak ravages an alarming -- and growing -- percentage of the population,” the Red Cross said in a statement, Anadolu reported.

According to the UN’s World Health Organization, 368,207 suspected cholera cases and 1,828 deaths have been reported in Yemen from April 27 to July 19.

“ICRC experts expect the current number of suspected cholera cases to at least double by the end of 2017 to over 600,000 -- or one in every 45 Yemenis,” it said.

“The great tragedy is that this cholera outbreak is a preventable, man-made humanitarian catastrophe. It is a direct consequence of a conflict that has devastated civilian infrastructure and brought the whole health system to its knees,” said ICRC President Peter Maurer.

Maurer arrived in Yemen on Sunday for a five-day trip that will take him to Aden, Taiz and Sana’a, where he will discuss the humanitarian situation with communities and officials on all sides of the conflict.

According to the ICRC, over 3 million people have fled their homes since the onset of the Yemen conflict, and more than 20 million throughout the country are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Since March 2015, Yemen has come under heavy airstrikes by Saudi fighter jets as part of a brutal campaign against the Arabian Peninsula country in an attempt to crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstall the fugitive president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

The relentless aerial aggression has put well more than half of all health facilities in Yemen in a state of complete or partial shutdown. Furthermore, there are critical shortages in medical staff in over 40% of all districts, according to Yemen’s Health Ministry.

 

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