34 dead, 2,000 sick with suspected cholera in Yemen: WHO

34 dead, 2,000 sick with suspected cholera in Yemen: WHO
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A girl-infected with cholera sits on a chair at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen on Sunday. (Reuters)
34 dead, 2,000 sick with suspected cholera in Yemen: WHO
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Women walk past a pile of rubbish bags on a street during a strike by garbage collectors demanding delayed salaries in Sanaa, Yemen, on May 8, 2017. (REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)
Updated 10 May 2017

34 dead, 2,000 sick with suspected cholera in Yemen: WHO

34 dead, 2,000 sick with suspected cholera in Yemen: WHO

Thirty-four people have died of cholera-related causes and more than 2,000 have been taken ill in Yemen, as humanitarian organizations warned Tuesday that the outbreak could spiral out of countrol.
This is the second wave of cholera-associated deaths in a year in Yemen, where deadly conflict has destroyed hospitals and left millions of people struggling to access food and clean water.
“There have been 34 cholera-associated deaths and 2,022 cases of acute watery diarrhea in nine governorates, including Sanaa, during the period of April 27 to May 7,” a World Health Organization official told AFP.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) also said on Tuesday it had independently treated more than 780 cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhea since March 30 in Yemen, calling the hike in numbers an “outbreak.”
“We are very concerned that the disease will continue to spread and become out of control,” said Shinjiro Murata, MSF’s head of mission in Yemen.
“Humanitarian assistance... needs to be urgently scaled up to limit the spread of the outbreak and anticipate potential other ones.”
MSF said patients were traveling dozens of kilometers, in difficult conditions, to reach treatment centers.
Yemen’s public health ministry has reported 310 cases of suspected cholera in Sanaa.
Sanitation workers are also on strike in the capital over weeks of unpaid wages, leaving the streets lined with garbage and sewage pipes clogged.
Sewer water flooded the streets Tuesday as the city was hit by heavy rain.
The WHO now classifies Yemen as one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in the world alongside Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq.
Conflict in Yemen has escalated over the past two years, as the UN-recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi fights Iran-backed Houthi rebels for control of the impoverished country.
Many of the country’s ports are blockaded, with basic food imports at an all-time low.
The United Nations, which has called Yemen “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world,” estimates more than 7,000 people have been killed since 2015 and three million displaced.
Some 17 million also lack adequate food, with one third of the country’s provinces on the brink of famine.