Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says more than 570 suspected cases of cholera have been treated in Yemen during the past three weeks, some seven months after the outbreak of the infectious disease was declared in the conflict-plagued impoverished Arab country.
“There are fears that the disease could turn into an epidemic. Two years into the war, the healthcare system has collapsed, hospitals are destroyed… and government employees’ salaries have not been paid,” said Ghassan Abou Chaar, the spokesman for the international medical charity, on Sunday.
He added that the MSF had witnessed a marked increase over the past week in suspected cholera cases in five provinces across the country.
Abdelhakim al-Kahlani, the spokesman for Yemen’s Ministry of Health, said the bacterial infection had resurfaced the previous week in the impoverished country, with reported cases in 10 provinces. He added that two cholera-related fatalities had been confirmed in the capital Sana’a, three in the central province of Ibb and four in the western province of Hudaydah.
On Saturday, Kahlani reported that the total number of cholera cases had reached 1,350 cases in all provinces in Yemen.
In early October last year, the World Health Organization announced the grim news of cholera outbreak in Yemen, and three weeks later it reported that the number of cholera cases across the country, including the capital, had soared to hundreds.
Last year, nearly 100 people lost their lives due to an outbreak of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea in Yemen.