Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, has been under attack by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition since 2015. This, of course, has had disastrous effects on citizens, who now are not only deprived of basic necessities such as food, water and medical assistance, but also are living in unhygienic conditions, resulting in the spread of cholera.
So far, at least 942 people died from the infectious disease, and unfortunately, things only appear to be getting worse. The people most affected from cholera are children, as it is reported that every 35 seconds, a child in Yemen gets infected with the disease. Therefore, more than 30 people a day are dying, and Oxfam, an international charity claims the disease is killing one person an hour.
“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,” said Grant Pritchard, Save the Children’s Yemen country director.
All in all, 129,000 suspected cases of cholera have come out of Yemen’s 20 affected provinces. Due to the civil war, the country cannot even access medical facilities or the adequate treatment needed to save thousands of lives.
The United Nations is therefore urging world leaders to step forward financially and diplomatically to save the country from further disaster. “Cholera is preventable and treatable and no life should be lost to this disease,” said Jamie McGoldrick, the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.
Yemenis' misery is compounded by food insecurity, something 17 million people in Yemen face; 6.8 million of them are on the brink of famine.
The World Health Organization predicts that if the country remains in the same state, around 300,000 people could be affected by cholera within six months.
In two years of war, more than 10,000 people have been killed and millions remain displaced. While only a handful of medical facilities are still available to people in Yemen, most of the country’s population does not even have access to clean drinking water. It is sad to see that a preventable disease such as cholera is taking away so many lives on a daily basis, and hopefully world leaders will do whatever they can to rescue Yemen from this disastrous situation.