“Fight” against new wave of “cholera” hit Yemen On April 20, 2019
Although the rains falling on Yemen these days contribute spreading of cholera epidemic in a country where the contaminated water is also spreading, but the Saudi-UAE alliance siege is still the primary reason of this spreading, authorities stress to fight a new wave of the epidemic that killed hundreds and injured tens of thousands in few past weeks.
The Yemeni capital, Sana’a, and the provinces under the control of the government of Ansarullah and its allies have been on high alert since the beginning of this month because of a new wave of cholera that seems more dangerous than the first wave of the epidemic which escalated in late 2017 and caused more injury, killed 2338 people in the same year.
Although the number of affected people has dropped to 370,000 last year and 500 case have died, but the number of victims of the epidemic re risen to a high level in a short period of this year.
Only in one month it reached more than 137 thousand people, as well as the Center for Epidemiological Surveillance of the Ministry of Health in Sana’a has recorded 266 deaths cases until late March.
One of the victims was one of the most famous doctors in the fight against cholera, the doctor Mohammed Abdel Moughni, who was wounded in the hospital «Al Sabeen » in Sanaa the same epidemic, which saved thousands of it.
Al Sabeen doctor Mohammed Abdel Moughni, who had been working in a temporary diarrhea treatment center in the hospital, would usually be making the rounds at the hospital but he succumbed to cholera himself on March 28 after being infected while treating patients in the makeshift ward.
Cholera is a severe gastrointestinal disease, transmitted by a bacterium called Vibrio Cholera. It can trigger so much diarrhea and vomiting that patients rapidly become dehydrated. They can lose so much fluid that their internal organs shut down, and in Yemen it is especially deadly owing to the starvation and lack of medical care that has plagued the country since the Saudi-led war began in 2015.
In March, Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, and Dr. Ahmed al-Mandhari, WHO regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean, issued a joint statement identifying the sharp increase in the number of reported cholera cases in Yemen since the start of the year.
The rate of new infections in April is slated to surpass those in the first weeks of March, which saw nearly 109,000 suspected cholera cases, 200 of which resulted in death.
Ministry of Health used security authorities to chase farmers who use sewage to irrigate their farms and prevented the entry of many irrigated vegetables contaminated water.
The spokesman of the Ministry, Youssef Al-Hazzari, confirmed involvement of the Saudi-UAE alliance directly in this spreading of the epidemic, stressing that “the ministry is conducting studies and research will be announced soon to reveal this involvement”.
The number of victims of the epidemic since the beginning of this year has increased to more than 500 and more than 190,000 by last week.” The cumulative number of victims since April 2017 to date is 3,200. He pointed out that «the coalition targeted the infrastructure and health sectors in Yemen and deliberately targeting more than 1100 water facilities, which prompted the citizen to search for alternative sources of water are usually not safe».
The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation in Sana’a accused the coalition of hampering its efforts to combat cholera. “The lack of oil derivatives of coalition’s prevention of 10 oil vessels is the main reason for the cessation of the field control campaign for the cholera epidemic,” the ministry confirmed.
UN has also taken full responsibility for the consequences of preventing entering ships loaded with fuel, which have permits from the UN team in Djibouti, to the port of Hodeidah and to reflect those actions.
The High Commission of Medicines and Medical Supplies in the capital Sana’a has released the latest statistics of repercussions and consequences of Saudi-led coalition war on the pharmaceutical sector in Yemen during four years of the war and siege.
The Saudi-led coalition war on Yemen and total siege imposed by the coalition countries have aggravated the health situation, caused a high increase of chronic diseases, multiple epidemics, acute drug shortages, and the destruction of warehouses and pharmaceutical factories, which have caused the rise of civilian casualties.
120 kinds of chronic disease medicines are currently not available in the Ministry of Health stores, especially 50% cancer medications, which has caused the death toll to increase due to the difficulty of providing medicines, as well as the high price of medicines due to the increased shipping cost and high exchange rate.
As well as the import rate of medicines has decreased to approximately 60% of the average import during the years prior to the aggression.
“These medicine supplies are interrupted since the closure of Sanaa Airport, most of which are life-saving and needed by a wide range of patients.
The report confirmed that “the blockade has resulted in the prohibition of the entry of certain medical materials for pharmaceutical industries from various Yemeni ports, and obstruction of the arrival of shipments and medical supplies that have been granted approval documents for importation and entry into Yemen, and the imposition of restrictions and arbitrary measures on ships loaded with medications.”
“It also affected the interruption of the activity of hundreds of importers due to the conditions imposed by the aggression and the disturbance of the medicines due to the exchange rate disorder.”
From the effects of the war and the blockade on the staff working in the pharmaceutical sector, the authority said: “more than 50% of pharmacists have lost their jobs. ”
“The closure of the port of Hodeidah has aggravated the lack of access to pharmaceutical and medical shipments and has contributed to the spread of epidemics and increased the need of medicines and medical supplies to high levels that are difficult to provide under aggression and siege. ”