WHO warns of new Yemen cholera surge, urges ceasefire for vaccination

File photo of a boy being treated at a cholera treatment center in Sanaa, Yemen October 8, 2017. (Reuters)

Yemen may be on the brink of a new cholera epidemic, with a heightened death rate due to widespread malnutrition, and the United Nations is hoping for a ceasefire in the north to allow for vaccinations, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

“We’ve had two major waves of cholera epidemics in recent years and unfortunately the trend data that we’ve seen in the last days to weeks suggests that we may be on the cusp of the third major wave of cholera epidemics in Yemen,” WHO emergency response chief Peter Salama told reporters in Geneva.

“We’re calling on all parties to the conflict to act in accordance with international humanitarian law and to respect the request of the UN and international community for three full days of tranquility and to lay down arms to allow us to vaccinate the civilian population for cholera.”

Northern Yemen has never had an oral cholera vaccination campaign, but 3,000 health workers plan to vaccinate more than 500,000 people over the next three days in and around the city of Hodeidah, the Arabian Peninsula country’s main port and a key element in UN plans for a political solution to the war.

Collaboration

The King Salman Relief Center has collaborate widely with the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2017 KSRelief established two projects to treat and combat cholera in Yemen as directed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The two are projects aimed at supporting cholera treatment in Yemen, improving treatment of suspected cases, initiating infection control practices at the level of health facilities to reduce the spread of disease and deaths from the epidemic.

They also aim at coordinating and collaborating locally and internationally in the fields of water and sanitation between international organizations operating in Yemen.

(With Reuters inputs)

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Last Update: 06:53 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
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