Cholera rages across Yemen, one child infected every minute — charity

A Yemeni doctor checks a child suspected of being infected with cholera at a makeshift hospital in Sanaa, in this June 9, 2017 photo. (AFP)
Updated 14 June 2017

Cholera rages across Yemen, one child infected every minute — charity

LONDON: A cholera epidemic raging across Yemen is spiralling out of control, with around one child falling sick every minute, an aid agency warned on Wednesday.
Thousands of people could die in the coming months with up to 300,000 cases predicted, Save the Children said, adding that the infection rate had tripled in a fortnight.
Two years of civil war, near-famine conditions and a lack of access to clean water have exacerbated the spread of cholera — a diarrheal disease that can kill within hours.
The country’s health system — already on its knees — is reeling with hospitals overwhelmed and quickly running out of medicines and intravenous fluids.
The UN children’s agency UNICEF said more than 920 people had died from the disease since late April and more than 124,000 cases had been recorded – almost half of them children.
Grant Pritchard, Save the Children’s representative in Yemen, called for an increase in emergency funding to tackle the epidemic.
“It’s time for the world to take action before thousands of Yemeni boys and girls perish from an entirely preventable disease,” he said in a statement.
“Disease, starvation and war are causing a perfect storm of disaster for Yemen’s people. The region’s poorest country is on the verge of total collapse, and children are dying because they’re not able to access basic health care.”

More than 2 million children are acutely malnourished making them particularly vulnerable to cholera as their weakened systems are less able to fight off disease, Save the Children said.
Pritchard said restrictions on bringing aid and medical supplies into Yemen, including delays accessing Hodeidah port and the closure of Sanaa airport, were compounding difficulties in halting the epidemic.
Unaffordable transport is also making it hard for people to reach treatment.
One man told the charity he had been forced to seek help for his children in the capital Sanaa, more than 200 km (125 miles) from his home, because his local hospital was full. The trip had cost 35,000 Yemen rial ($140).
A nurse at a Sanaa cholera unit said there was one day when they had received more than 550 cases.
“Every hour we receive patients. We work here 24 hours. People come from all governorates across the country,” the nurse added. “I have come across many sad stories.” ($1 = 249.9800 Yemen rials)


German defense minister rejects Turkey complaint over Libya weapons ship search

Updated 24 November 2020

German defense minister rejects Turkey complaint over Libya weapons ship search

  • Germany insists it acted correctly in boarding a Turkish ship to enforce arms embargo of Libya
  • Turkey summoned European diplomats to complain at the operation

BERLIN: Germany’s defense minister on Tuesday rejected Turkey’s complaints over the search of a Turkish freighter in the Mediterranean Sea by a German frigate participating in a European mission, insisting that German sailors acted correctly.
Sunday’s incident prompted Turkey to summon diplomats representing the European Union, Germany and Italy and assert that the Libya-bound freighter Rosaline-A was subjected to an “illegal” search by personnel from the German frigate Hamburg. The German ship is part of the European Union’s Irini naval mission, which is enforcing an arms embargo against Libya.
German officials say that the order to board the ship came from Irini’s headquarters in Rome and that Turkey protested while the team was on board. The search was then ended.
Turkey says the search was “unauthorized and conducted by force.”
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer backed the German crew’s actions.
“It is important to me to make really clear that the Bundeswehr soldiers behaved completely correctly,” she said during an appearance in Berlin. “They did what is asked of them in the framework of the European Irini mandate.”
“That there is this debate with the Turkish side points to one of the fundamental problems of this European mission,” Kramp-Karrenbauer added, without elaborating. “But it is very important to me to say clearly here that there are no grounds for these accusations that are now being made against the soldiers.”
This was the second incident between Turkey and naval forces from a NATO ally enforcing an arms blockade against Libya.
In June, NATO launched an investigation over an incident between Turkish warships and a French naval vessel in the Mediterranean, after France said one of its frigates was “lit up” three times by Turkish naval targeting radar when it tried to approach a Turkish civilian ship suspected of involvement in arms trafficking.
Turkey supports a UN-backed government in Tripoli against rival forces based in the country’s east. It has complained that the EU naval operation focuses its efforts too much on the Tripoli administration and turns a blind eye to weapons sent to the eastern-based forces.
In Ankara, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that Irini was “flawed from the onset.”
“It is not based on firm international legal foundations,” Akar said. He renewed Turkey’s criticism of the German ship’s actions.
“The incident was against international laws and practices. It was wrong,” he said.
Kramp-Karrenbauer stressed that “Turkey is still an important partner for us in NATO.” Turkey being outside the military alliance would make the situation even more difficult, she argued, and Turkish soldiers are “absolutely reliable partners” in NATO missions.
But she conceded that Turkey poses “a big challenge” because of how its domestic politics have developed and because it has its “own agenda, which is difficult to reconcile with European questions in particular.”