17 Jul 2024
Sunday 23 July 2017 - 17:56
Story Code : 269468

600,000 Yemeni people could contract cholera by end of 2017: ICRC

Press TV- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned that about 600,000 people in the war-torn Yemen could contract cholera by December this year, a figure which almost equates one in every 45 people in the 27.5-million-strong country.

The ICRCs striking news on Sunday came as the relentless bombardment of the impoverished country by Saudi Arabias warplanes has not only brought Yemens healthcare system on the verge of total collapse but also taken a heavy toll on the countrys facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

According to the ICRCs statement, the highly contagious disease is a direct consequence of a conflict that has devastated civilian infrastructure and brought the whole health system to its knees.

Both the ICRC and World Health Organization (WHO) have already announced in their recent reports that over 370,000 people across the country had caught cholera and 1,800 others had lost their lives after succumbing to the infectious illness since late April in Yemen's second cholera outbreak in less than a year.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="555"] A Yemeni boy fills jerrycans with safe drinking water from a donated water tank in the capital Sanaa on July 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)[/caption]
Caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, cholera infection first became epidemic last October and spread until Decemberwhen it dwindled,but only to worryingly resurface again less than three months ago.

Since March 2015, Yemen has came under heavy airstrikes by Saudi fighter jetsas part of a brutal campaign against the Arabian Peninsula country in an attempt to crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstall the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

The relentless aerial aggression has put well more than half of all health facilities in Yemen in a state of complete or partial shutdown. Furthermore, there are critical shortages in medical staff in over 40 percent of all districts, according to Yemens Health Ministry.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="555"] A Yemeni man throws garbage onto a pile of uncollected rubbish in the capital Sanaa, on May 7, 2017, as municipality workers are striking over unpaid salaries. (Photo by AFP)[/caption]
Nearly 3.3 million Yemeni people, including 2.1 million children, are currently suffering from acute malnutrition. Latest tallies show that the war has so far killed over 12,000 Yemenis and wounded thousands more.

On Saturday, the International humanitarian agency Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) raisedalarm at the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, calling the situation a shame on humanity.

Sixtypercent of the country is food insecure and over half the population is unable [to access] safe drinking water," said the NGO in its statement, adding Many areas in Yemen are just one step away from a famine situation.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="555"] A Yemeni boy school writes as he sits outside a school on March 16, 2017, that was damaged in an airstrike in the southern Yemeni city of Ta'izz. (Photo by AFP)[/caption]
The US and the UK have been providing the bulk of the military ordnance used by Saudi Arabia in the war.London has licensed 3.3 billion pounds worth of weapons since the beginning of Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen in March 2015.

Washingtonalso sealedamultibillionarms deal with Riyadh when US President Donald Trump made his maiden visit abroad in May.The deal, which is worth $350 billion over 10 years and $110 billion that will take effect immediately, was hailed by the White House as a significant expansion ofthe security relationshipbetween the two countries.

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