Muscat: Yemen’s cholera death toll has risen to more than 1,600, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported, as an Omani good samaritan returned from his second journey to Yemen to deliver precious aid supplies.
Omani national Nasr Al Jadhamy returned from a second trip to Yemen, in order to deliver about 60 tonnes of goods donated by Oman’s community. The aid supplies were organised into two trucks that have travelled all the way to Salalah, and then Thumrait.
The country has been ravaged by war, and is seeing the worst cholera epidemic in recent times. According to Reuters, almost one child is infected every minute, even as the WHO reported that the outbreak of suspected cholera cases had reached 275,987 by July 5.
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.”
“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 healthcare,” he said in a statement. War-battered Yemen’s crumbling infrastructure and malnutrition have been a breeding ground for the disease, which spread as poor sanitation has affected food and water supply.
The country has experienced a surge in cholera cases since April 27, with nearly 5,000 cases reported per day.
According to Unicef, cholera has spread to 21 of the country’s 22 provinces, and the number of deaths has so far exceeded the total number of cholera deaths reported to the WHO worldwide in 2015.
With funding help from the World Bank, WHO is setting up treatment centres with 50 to 60 beds each, overseen by shifts of about 14 staff members working around the clock. The aim is to reach 5,000 beds in total.
In addition to that, WHO delivered a 400-tonne aid shipment in the beginning of July, including 20 ambulances, 100 cholera kits, hospital equipment and 128,000 bags of intravenous fluids in order to combat the epidemic.