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Yemen cholera cases could hit 300000 within six months

19 May 2017

The World Health Organization says cholera has killed more than 240 people in Yemen in the last few weeks.

"We need to expect something that could go up to 200,000-250,000 cases over the next six months, in addition to the 50,000 cases that have already occurred", Nevio Zagaria.

"The speed of the resurgence of this cholera epidemic is unprecedented", World Health Organization country representative for Yemen Nevio Zagaria told reporters in a conference call, warning that there could be as many as 250,000 cases in the country within six months.

Cholera is highly contagious and can be contracted from ingesting contaminated food and water.

Fighting has taken a toll on medical facilities in the war-torn country, as more than half of Yemen's facilities, which are now operated by Houthi rebels, no longer function.

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Latest tallies show that the war on Yemen has so far killed over 12,000 Yemenis and wounded thousands more.

Highlighting the "underfunding of the health, water and sanitation sector", Zagaria urged the global community to support health workers, some of whom haven't been paid in over seven months.

"The population is using water sources that are contaminated", Zagaria said, referring to the lack of electricity, which subsequently led to the malfunction of water pumping stations as well as a damage to sewer systems.

He also recommended that efforts be directed towards treating water sources, repairing the sewers system and raising awareness through different methodologies including community mobilisation.

Zagaria said the United Nations agencies were preparing to "release an emergency response cholera plan in the next 48 hours", aimed at dramatically scaling up the number of treatment centres and rehydration centres.

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At the same time, he said there was a dire need for funding to help Yemen authorities to make the necessary infrastructure repairs.

The cost in lives from this will be will be "extremely, extremely high", he said. Nigeria News and World News.

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