A report prepared by the Emergency Water and Environmental Sanitation Unit of the Ministry of Water and Environment has showed serious indicators of the cholera epidemic spread in 2019.
During January and February 2019, the indicators recorded an increase of 28% compared to the same period of 2018.
The report noted that 52,163 suspected cases of the disease were recorded, including 1,362 cases confirmed by rapid examination in 2018, while in this year more than 67,000 cases were recorded, including 9,927 cases confirmed by rapid examination, and at least 171 laboratory-confirmed cases.
In this regard, an extensive meeting was held on Wednesday in the capital Sanaa under the chairmanship of Minister of Water and Environment Nabil al-Wazir and attended by head of the water and environmental sanitation department at UNICEF Nassar Sayed, to discuss several reports on cholera control interventions during the period 19-25 February.
According to the weekly response indicators and field survey data submitted by rapid response teams (RRT) of the ministry, “55 percent of the cholera sufferers were affected by drinking water.”
A report prepared by the Ministry’s Emergency Operations Room said that 38 percent of those infected with cholera during the period from 19 to 25 February was by eating, while seven percent were infected with cholera as a result of infection.
On the general epidemiological situation during the week, the report noted that the total number of suspected cases amounted to 8,680 cases, 59 cases of which were examined at the central laboratory, and a positive diagnostic test was made for 1,888 cases and a negative diagnostic test for 1,967 cases, while with 4,766 cases were not examined.
The weekly response report included interventions carried out in the field of water quality monitoring in the targeted districts of the capital Sanaa, and in Hodeidah, Amran, Mahweet, Dhamar, Hajjah, Ibb and Sanaa provinces.
The meeting approved a number of steps and actions to be implemented as urgent interventions to counter the spread of the epidemic.
Cholera is a disease that leads to severe diarrhea that can kill the patient within hours if it fails to meet the treatment. Children who are malnourished and under the age of five are particularly at risk of contracting the disease.
In October, Save the Children said the number of suspected cases of cholera had nearly tripled in health centers it has supported in Yemen since fighting resumed in the province of Hodeidah in western Yemen.
The British-based non-governmental organization Child Care said in a statement that its medical facilities in Yemen recorded an increase of 170% (2.7 times) in the number of suspected cases of cholera (1,342 cases in August compared to 497 in June).
According to the humanitarian organization, Hodeidah has become the “center” of the cholera epidemic in Yemen.
About 30 percent of potential cholera cases were reported in children under the age of five, Save the Children said. Moreover, the organization has pointed out that it is concerned about the fate of 100,000 severely malnourished children and makes them more likely to develop diarrheal diseases, such as cholera, which can lead to their death.
295,000 cases were suspected of contracting the epidemic in 2018, compared to 2,300 deaths and 1.1 million cases of the epidemic in 2017.
Children under the age of five accounts for one-third of the deaths of this pandemic,” the report stated.