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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 20 March, 2018

Yemen is facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world

One quarter of the people who have died in this outbreak were children.

Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

THE UNITED NATIONS has warned Yemen is facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world as numbers of suspected cases exceed 200,000.

A statement from the heads of Unicef and the World Health Organisation, Anthony Lake and Dr Margaret Chan, said there are now on average 5,000 cases a day.

“In just two months, cholera has spread to almost every governorate of this war-torn country. Already more than 1,300 people have died – one quarter of them children – and the death toll is expected to rise,” they said.

They said they are “racing to stop the acceleration of this deadly outbreak”.

We are working around the clock to detect and track the spread of disease and to reach people with clean water, adequate sanitation and medical treatment. Rapid response teams are going house-to-house to reach families with information about how to protect themselves by cleaning and storing drinking water.

Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The organisation is calling on authorities in Yemen to strengthen their internal efforts to stop the spread of this outbreak.

“This deadly cholera outbreak is the direct consequence of two years of heavy conflict. Collapsing health, water and sanitation systems have cut off 14.5 million people from regular access to clean water and sanitation, increasing the ability of the disease to spread. Rising rates of malnutrition have weakened children’s health and made them more vulnerable to disease,” Lake and Chan said in their statement.

Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

“An estimated 30,000 dedicated local health workers who play the largest role in ending this outbreak have not been paid their salaries for nearly 10 months. We urge all authorities inside the country to pay these salaries and, above all, we call on all parties to end this devastating conflict.”

Read: Ireland gives a further €6 million in aid to alleviate suffering in Yemen and Iraq>

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