CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 22 July 2017

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Cholera in Yemen

SANA’A (AsiaNews): A cholera epidemic that has hit Yemen resulting in at least 789 deaths and over 100,000 suspected cases of contagion has added to the woes of a country torn apart by a civil war.
 
Tarik Jasarevic, from the World Health Organisation, said, “There are 101,820 possible cases and 789 deaths reported to date in 19 different provinces.” It is estimated that up to 250,000 people are at risk of being infected within the next six months.
 
The director of Oxfam, Sajjad Mohammed Sajid, pointed out that at the moment there is one cholera victim every hour. “Yemen is on the edge of a precipice,” he said, adding that if the international community does not intervene drastically to limit the epidemic it will end up threatening the lives of thousands of people in the coming months.
 
A ceasefire and the restoration of humanitarian assistance is essential to stopping the epidemic. The spread of the disease is being fuelled by poor sanitary conditions and the shortage of medical facilities.
 
Over half of the hospitals and clinics in the country have been destroyed or seriously damaged in the conflict and are almost unusable.
 
Since January 2015, Yemen has been fighting a civil war pitting the country’s predominantly Sunni leadership, led by the former president, Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who is backed by Saudi Arabia, and Shia Houthi clans that are close to Iran and the Hezbollah in Lebanon, against each other.

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