Yemen scales up fight against cholera

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-09 04:51:08|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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SANAA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Yemen has prepared emergency plans to continue the fight against cholera aimed at improving the sanitation system, providing clean water and raising public awareness about this epidemic, officials said on Tuesday.

The death toll from cholera climbed to 1,940 and the suspected cases to more than 463,000 on Sunday, said Abdulhakim Al-Kuhlani, spokesperson for the public health and population ministry in Sanaa.

"We have a national emergency plan focused on improving epidemiological surveillance, providing fast response teams and necessary medicines, and opening treatment centers across the republic," Al-Kuhlani said.

Spokesperson for the health ministry within the legitimate government in Aden, Mohammed Mustafa Yasin, said their plan is focused on environmental sanitation.

"The efforts to contain cholera require cooperation among all sectors, like the health ministry, the cleanliness fund, civil society and media," Yasin elaborated. "We are also launching a house-to-house health education campaign."

More than a million children suffering from acute malnutrition, including almost 200,000 with severe acute malnutrition, are caught in the areas hit hardest by a deadly outbreak of cholera, Save the Children warned last week.

Yemeni officials said the number of suspected cases per day has slightly decreased in recent weeks in some areas thanks to quick and effective interventions.

"In Aden, we are now receiving tens of suspected cases a day. In the first months of the outbreak, we were receiving hundreds of suspected cases a day," said Yasin. "The good news remains that 99.6 percent of the suspected cases were cured."

Yemen is facing a triple threat of war, hunger and cholera, the UN has warned.

Collapsing healthcare and sanitation systems, damaged water infrastructure and malnutrition, all direct consequences of a war continuing for more than two a half years, are making people more vulnerable to cholera, agencies said, while calling for scaling up aid to the country.