Yemen cholera outbreak kills 25 people in a week: WHO

A cholera-infected man reacts as he lies on a hospital bed in Sanaa, Yemen.
PHOTO: Reuters

A cholera outbreak in Yemen killed 25 people this week, the World Health Organisation said, as two years of war continues to wreak havoc on the impoverished country's health and sanitation system.

The deaths from the diarrheal disease which is carried in food and water tainted by human faeces are among 1,360 cases that the United Nations agency reported since April 27.

Some severe cases can kill within hours unless treated with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

"(This) is extremely alarming. We are facing a reactivation of the cholera epidemic," Nevio Zagaria, the WHO's representative in Yemen, told Reuters.

"The cause is that there is two years of war in Yemen. There is a huge impact on the infrastructure, the electricity power is on and off, the water pumping stations are not functioning regularly and this has an impact on the quality of water."

A previous outbreak subsided last winter, Zagaria said, and the country has experienced a total of around 27,000 cases including 130 deaths during the conflict.

Yemen's conflict pits the Iran-allied Houthi movement and elements of the military against the Saudi-led military coalition backing the internationally recognised government.

Largely stalemated in nationwide battlefronts, the war has plunged millions into poverty, displaced millions of others and killed more than 10,000 people.

The UN said a child aged under five dies of preventable causes every 10 minutes in Yemen.

Air pollution in ChinaPhoto: AFP

A dispute over control of the central bank has also left most public sector salaries in Sanaa and other Houthi-run northern lands unpaid since October.

Street cleaners have gone on strike for their wages, leaving mountains of garbage cluttering main boulevards.

Meanwhile, hospitals are strained by low supplies and cash-strapped staff who in some cases can barely afford transportation to work.

Women and young children, crumpled in pain from the diarrhoea, sat on mattress laid in the hallway of a crowded Sanaa hospital.

"I've been lying here since 7:30 in the morning and watching death and suffering. No one came to give me any treatment, not even a needle," lamented patient Ali al-Hamzy.

Photos: 12-year-old boy drowns at East Coast Park

  • The body of a missing 12-year-old schoolboy was found in the waters off Bedok Jetty on Monday (May 8) afternoon after a search operation that lasted for three hours.
  • The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) first announced in a Facebook post that it was alerted to a report of a missing person at around 12.25pm.
  • In a subsequent update at 3.33pm, it said that the body of the missing person had been found by SCDF's Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) rescuers.
  • "It was reported to us that he had visited East Coast Park with a group of friends for a swim, after taking his examination paper this morning," said Ms Elaine Tan, vice-principal of Jurongville Secondary School.
  • A woman, believed to be the mother of a 12 year-old boy who drowned at East Coast near Bedok Jetty on Mon 8 May 2017, waited as SCDF search for the body of the boy.
  • A woman, believed to be the mother of the 12 year-old boy who drowned at East Coast, fainted and had to be carried away in a stretcher after identifying the boy's body.
  • The search was conducted along a stretch of beach at East Coast Park's area E near Bedok Jetty, which was cordoned off when The Straits Times arrived at around 2.45pm.
  • Undertakers and police personnel carry away the body of the 12-year-old boy.
  • Staff from Jurongville Secondary School walking off for a short meeting as the police departed from the scene.
  • The Straits Times understands that the boy was Muhammad Suhaimi Sabastian, the youngest of three sons.
  • At least three coastal police boats were seen searching the waters. An ambulance, two fire engines, a Red Rhino and several police cars were also spotted.
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