In a follow-up on the cholera outbreak in Yemen, officials numbers released today show an increase of an additional 10,000 cases in 24 hours.

Public domain image/Dartmouth
Public domain image/Dartmouth

Since the beginning of this outbreak second wave (from 27 April to 2 July 2017), 262,650 suspected cholera cases, and 1 587 deaths (CFR: 0.6%) have been reported in 21 of the country 23 governorates (91%), and in 86% of the districts (287/333).

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported today on a 403-ton shipment of medical supplies that arrived in Hodeida, Yemen recently.

Included in the shipment are twenty ambulances, 100 cholera kits, hospital equipment and 128,000 bags of intravenous fluids.

“We needed a special kind of ship to carry the ambulances and luckily we found one in the region,” explained Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Representative in Yemen. “It was absolutely enormous. But so are the needs in Yemen right now. So we loaded as many supplies as possible onto it, including some therapeutic feeding items that our sister agency UNICEF will use for children suffering from malnutrition.”

Getting medical supplies to vulnerable people across Yemen is no easy task, with active conflict, damaged port infrastructure and logistical difficulties impeding access. The flow of medicines into the country has dried up by more than 70%.

“People are dying in Yemen right now because they cannot access health care,” continued Dr Zagaria. “The most visible example of the health system’s inability to respond to the needs of the population is the ongoing cholera outbreak, which has resulted in the deaths of 1500 Yemenis in just over 2 months. But people are also dying of things like childhood pneumonia, malaria, complications around childbirth, high blood pressure and diabetes because they cannot access treatment. The medicines and equipment delivered today will save lives.”