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Cholera in Yemen: The Worst in History

Cholera in Yemen is the Worst in History

Cholera cases have been reached 1 million in Yemen and it is at an incredibly fast speed.

What is Cholera?

Cholera is a potentially fatal bacterial infection caused by consuming food or water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholera. It causes watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated.

Not everyone who becomes infected will develop symptoms, but those who do will usually experience: severe watery diarrhea, feeling & being sick and stomach cramps. The symptoms usually develop within a few days of infection, but can occur after a few hours.  Without treatment, the combination of diarrhea and vomiting can cause a person to become dehydrated and go into shock. The most severe cases prove to be fatal.

Cholera can spread if food and, in particular, water become contaminated with the stools of an infected person. This is why cholera is most widespread in regions of the world with poor sanitation. Mass outbreaks often occur after natural disasters or during a war, as a result of overcrowding in poor living conditions and a lack of access to clean water.

Cholera in Yemen

The seeds of the epidemic were planted in 2015 when war broke out in Yemen. Even before the war broke out, Yemen was one of the poorest countries in the Middle East with a health sector on the verge of collapse. The devastation of Yemeni infrastructure, health, water and sanitation systems and facilities by the war led to the spread of cholera.

The outbreak officially began in October 2016 but by the end of February 2017, the rate of spread in most areas had reduced and was in decline by March 2017. However, in April 2017 the number of cholera cases resurged, 10 days after a sewage system stopped working.  During May 74,311 suspected cases including 605 deaths were reported with UNICEF and WHO claiming up to 5000 new cases were reported a day. The 2 agencies then stated that it was “the worst cholera outbreak in the world” by October 2017.

Prior to Yemen, Haiti had the worst outbreak since records began. After the earthquake in 2010, Haiti had the first modern large-scale outbreak of cholera. While there were 815,000 cases of cholera in Haiti between 2010 and 2017, Yemen has exceeded that number in just SIX months.

It had already become the worlds biggest cholera outbreak in history, but now Yemen has hit 1 MILLION cholera cases, and at an incredibly fast speed. There have been 2,227 reported deaths from the disease. Approximately half of the cases, and a quarter of the deaths were among children. The International Committee of the Red Cross announced the news of 1 million cases on their official Twitter account describing it as ‘shocking’.

How you can help

SABA Relief have a team on the ground, working in Yemen to provide as much as support as we can offer. With the help of the public we undertake many campaigns throughout the year including education, winter, water, food and Qurbani.  Due to the rise in cholera and the crisis in Yemen, we have now started a cholera campaign to offer treatment to those in need.

We offer cholera aid for £25, which includes cholera treatment and financial aid for those in need. We also offer a cholera package for £70, which includes cholera treatment, financial aid, food and clean water.

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