Red Cross official warns of health crisis in Yemen due to rapid spread of cholera

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-24 18:23:08|Editor: Song Lifang
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KUWAIT, July 24 (Xinhua) -- An official of the International Committee of the Red Cross' (ICRC) on Monday warned of a health crisis in the war-torn Yemen due to the rapid spread of cholera.

Yahya Alibi, head of the ICRC delegation in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), told the Kuwaiti official KUNA news agency in an interview that more than 300,000 people have been infected with cholera, which has spread to 20 of Yemen's 22 governorates.

To make things worse, the infrastructure and hospitals in this war-torn country are unable to accommodate this number of patients, Alibi said.

He said that the best way to help is through donation to the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) because it can reach places in need of help in Yemen in cooperation with the ICRC and the UN.

Through cooperation with KRCS, medical aid has been provided to all health centers in Yemen and tons of chlorine tablets were distributed for purifying water supplies, Alibi added.

But he said that one of the biggest challenges in dealing with the cholera outbreak is the ongoing war in Yemen, which makes it difficult to deliver aid to the worst affected areas, including Sanaa, Hadidah, Amran and Hajja.

The ICRC is currently supporting 11 health centers in the worst affected provinces by improving the hygiene and sanitation conditions there, and providing local residents with necessary medical supplies, Alibi said.

Yemen's government, allied with a Saudi Arabia-led Arab military coalition, has for years been battling Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels for control of the impoverished country.

Statistics showed that more than 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen's conflict, most of them civilians, since the Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict in 2015.