Children hardest hit as cholera spreads in war-torn Yemen – UNICEF

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14 June 2017 – As the outbreak of cholera in Yemen continues to spread at an alarming rate &#8211 with terrible impact on children &#8211 the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called for immediate support to enable the country’s health workers respond or risk even more deaths from the deadly disease.

In a statement yesterday, Meritxell Relaño, the UNICEF Representative in Yemen, said that despite massive challenges, health workers &#8220have spared no effort in responding to the emergency &#8211 even when their salaries have not been paid for nearly nine months.&#8221

&#8220Without an urgent solution to pay health workers, more children will die &#8211 no matter how much humanitarian aid is delivered to the country,&#8221 she added.

According to the UN agency, more than 124,000 cholera cases have been recorded over the past month &#8211 more than half of them children, and many who were already suffering from malnutrition.

Children, also account for nearly a quarter of the 923 deaths due to the disease, which is overwhelming what remains of a health system and sanitation system already at the verge of collapse due to the conflict, now into its third year.

Now, this outbreak has left hospitals and treatment centres are struggling to cope with the large number of patients coming in from across the country and medical supplies, including vital medicines and intravenous fluids also running out.

UN and humanitarian partners are trying to respond and have airlifted some 67 tons medicinal supplies. However, the need far outpaces the supply, underscoring the need to ensure relief and health workers have safe and unrestricted access as well as resumption of imports of critical commodities, including urgently needed medicines.

&#8220With no end in sight to the conflict, the cholera outbreak &#8211 and potentially other disease will continue to stalk the lives of children,&#8221 warned Ms. Relaño.