A child receives medical treatment at a separated cholera center in Sanaa, Yemen, on Sept. 19, 2017. The country has been hit by a deadly cholera outbreak and is on the edge of famine. (Xinhua/Mohammed Mohammed)
SANAA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Aabid Sofan's pregnant wife has already recovered from cholera and gave birth to a daughter early this week.
Sofan's family had survived the deadly disease, which led him to feel happy despite daily tragedies of the ongoing civil war, hunger and unpaid salaries since last year.
"It was very surprisingly severe vomiting and diarrhoea at the mid night and she was in her last month of pregnancy," the 30-year-old agricultural engineer said.
"No money was in my pocket nor I owned a car, and I rushed to ask my neighbor to take us by his car to the hospital," said Sofan, adding that his wife received treatment for four days, and doctors transferred her to the pregnancy section where she gave birth. The newborn child is in good condition without any side effects.
Sofan said his neighbor helped him pay the expenses at the hospital.
"I'm very happy for saving the lives of my wife and my newborn daughter, and I wish the war comes to end," he said.
Sofan, a government employee at the state-run Agricultural Ministry in Sanaa, is like thousands of Yemeni government staff members who have not received their salaries for one year after the government shifted the central bank from Houthi-held capital Sanaa to the southern port city of Aden in September last year.
According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), some 884,368 suspected cholera cases have been recorded in the past six months, including 2,184 deaths.
The United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Oct. 13 at the UN Headquarters that the cholera outbreak in Yemen is the largest single-year cholera outbreak ever on record.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said last month that the epidemic could hit one million by the end of the year.
However, the epidemic seems to begin slightly subsiding in recent two weeks in the country, perhaps because of UN-backed house-to-house health awareness campaigns.
In a statement on Monday, the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said it is closing most of its cholera treatment centers in Yemen, saying the outbreak appears to have weakened.
MSF said the epidemic was not over, but the suspected cases have decreased significantly.
"The number of cholera cases reported in MSF treatment centers has significantly decreased since the peak of the outbreak. As a result, the medical organization is closing the majority of its cholera treatment centers or reducing their capacity," MSF said in the statement.
On Sunday, WHO said the number of suspected cases of cholera was declining from almost 51,000 cases in a week at the outbreak's peak to 35,000 cases per week in the first two weeks of October.
Most of the deaths were reported from the northern province of Hajjah, while most of the infected cases were reported from the northwestern port province of Hodeidah on the coast of the Red Sea, both under control of Shiite Houthi rebels.
The civil war, which has lasted more than two years and a half, has destroyed the bulk of the country's water and sanitation systems, with more than half of Yemen's health facilities out of service and about 15 million people gaining no access to safe water and basic healthcare.
The war pits Iranian-allies Shiite Houthi rebels against the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which is backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition.
The war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, half of them civilians, and displaced over 3 million others, according to UN humanitarian agencies.
The ongoing war has hit a stalemate, creating the largest humanitarian crisis in the world and pushing the country to the brink of famine, with an estimated 385,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition, thus putting them at heightened risk of acute watery diarrhea and cholera, according to the UN agencies.