The World Health Organization expressed fear that Yemen may be on the verge of experiencing its worst cholera outbreak as about 1,310 people have died from the disease since late April.
The Arabian Peninsula country has recorded over 200,000 cholera instances and there are indications that 300,000 people could get infected towards the end of August.
Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general, said that the war-torn country may witness spread of cholera in each governorate within the next two months.
“Already more than 1,300 people have died – one quarter of them children – and the death toll is expected to rise,” said MS Chan.
Cholera is a highly contagious disease that becomes fatal within hours if not attended to. It is spread through contaminated water or food.
As much as this disease is treatable, such a move in Yemen has proven difficult, courtesy of conflict that has over time torn the country apart.
The United Nations blames the rival sides for increased spread of cholera, terming the current situation a man-made humanitarian catastrophe.
“The cholera element, in addition to all the lack of food, the lack of medical supplies … one has to put that at the door of all parties to the conflict,” read the statement.
A country torn by war
Yemen has been fired upon by all sorts of gunfire and airstrikes. Saudi Arabia and its allies first launched an air campaign on the country in 2015 with the intention of reversing gains made by Houthi military as it backed the UN-recognized government.
The two years of fighting have led to the death of 10,000 people and injured more than 45,000. Additionally, the war has displaced about 2.8 million people, representing about 11 percent of the population.
Oxfam, a humanitarian group, called for cease fire on Friday to have the current problem settled by there aren’t any sign of the war stopping.
One of the major hospitals in the nation, Sabeen hospital, admits a cholera patient every two minutes.
This catastrophe started in 2016, but the last two months have seen a significant growth.
Ismail Mansouri, a physician, explained that they are “receiving many patients from all over the country” with some coming in very bad conditions.
Despite the seriousness of the matter, obstacles aren’t making things any easier. These include unavailability of medical equipment, medicine and rehydration solutions.
There is also a significant shortage of doctors and nurses in the few available health care facilities.