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Health Crisis Worsens As Houthis Refuse to Receive Medical Supplies

Health Ministry Spokesperson Dr. Mohammed Al-Saadi warned from a huge health crisis looming ahead due to Houthis’ rejection of to receive medical supplies and vaccines for diseases such as: cholera, poliomyelitis, measles and Hepatitis.

Al-Saadi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the elderlies and children in Houthi-ruled areas are vulnerable to a medical crisis, noting that the supplies will be sent to Sudan.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced a Cholera vaccination campaign in Yemen. The two organizations revealed, in a statement, that the first-ever oral cholera vaccination campaign in Yemen was launched on 6 May and concludes on 15 May, just before the start of Ramadan. The campaign aims to prevent the resurgence of the world’s largest cholera outbreak.

There have been more than one million suspected cases of cholera in Yemen and 2,275 recorded deaths since November 2016, the WHO says.

“The ongoing conflict, lack of access to safe drinking-water, weak sewage systems due to lack of fuel for pumps and the collapsing health system is the perfect mix for a new explosion of cholera during Yemen’s rainy season, which is already in its beginning stages,” said Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Representative in Yemen.

“This vaccination campaign comes at such a critical time. Children in Yemen were the worst hit by last year’s outbreak and remain the most vulnerable due to widespread malnutrition and deteriorating sanitation and hygiene,” said Meritxell Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen.

Recent reports revealed that in the first 3 days of the campaign, more than 124000 doses of oral cholera vaccine were administered. This represents 35% of the estimated target population in the 4 districts where the campaign began. A fifth district will be included in the coming days, bringing the total target population to 470,905 individuals.

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