In a follow-up on the diphtheria re-emergence in Yemen, UN health officials say the outbreak of the vaccine-preventable disease has grown to 197 cases, including 22 deaths mostly children and young adults – in the last three months.
“It is shocking that in 2017, there are children dying of an ancient disease that is vaccine-preventable and can be easily treated,” said Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Country Representative in Yemen.
Last week, a shipment of 1,000 vials of life-saving anti-toxins and 17 tons of medical supplies arrived in Sanaa after being stalled by the three-week closure of sea and air ports.
A vaccination campaign targeting 300,000 children younger than 12 months began last weekend. Further vaccination rounds for more than 3 million children and young adults in priority districts are due in December.
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