A cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen has killed 115 people and left 8,500 ill as hospitals struggle to cope with an influx of patients, the International Committee of the Red Cross said today.
“We now are facing a serious outbreak of cholera,” said ICRC director of operations Dominik Stillhart at a news conference in the capital Sanaa.
Citing figures compiled by the Yemeni health ministry, Stillhart said 115 people had died of cholera between April 27 and yesterday.
More than 8,500 suspected cases of the waterborne disease were reported in the same period in 14 governorates across Yemen, Stillhart said, up from 2,300 cases in 10 governorates last week.
This is the second outbreak of cholera in less than a year in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country.
Yemen is witnessing a devastating war between the Saudi- supported government and Iranian-backed Huthi rebels, and less than half of the country’s health facilities are functioning two years into the conflict.
Stillhart said hospitals were filled beyond capacity with patients displaying symptoms of cholera, a bacterial infection contracted through ingesting contaminated food or water.
“There are up to four cholera patients in one single bed,” Stillhart said.
More than 8,000 people have been killed since the Saudi- led Arab coalition intervened to support Yemen’s government in 2015, according to the WHO.