Cholera Emergency Response in Hodeidah and Raymah Governorates – Funded by UMR & WHO
Cholera Emergency Response (Yemen)
Yemen is already handicapped by the consequences of prolonged conflict. This population has an additional silent and persistent enemy- cholera. It has caused immeasurable damage to the already struggling country.
The situation has prompted a collaboration with the Yemeni government. There are various partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO). United Mission for Relief & Development (UMR) also unites with WHO and helps Yemen.
The Cholera Outbreak and Its Aftermath
Yemen has been gripped by a severe cholera outbreak since 2016. It has intensified because of the conflict, affecting the country’s healthcare system. With over 815,000 suspected cases reported in October 2017, the situation is severe. It outnumbers even the big outbreak in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. Children under the age of five are the most vulnerable. Furthermore, those living in poverty bear the burden of this public health catastrophe.
Almost five years of intense conflict have exacted a heavy toll on Yemen’s health system, impeding the proper functioning of its water and sanitation services. As such, the spread of diarrhoeal diseases has reached unprecedented levels; the World Health Organization reported in October 2017, there were over 815,000 suspected cases of cholera. The seriousness of this is underlined by the fact the only other major outbreak of cholera since 1949 (the humanitarian crisis following the Haiti earthquake in 2010) recorded a similar number of cases over a seven year period – Yemen has managed to surpass this in six months. Worst affected by cholera and other waterborne illnesses are the country’s most vulnerable. With little to no resources for public health departments and sanitation workers, the ability of Yemen to both prevent and fight the disease is greatly weakened.
The Response and Collaboration
In this state of hardship, in 2019, the Yemeni government ran a vaccination program in Hodeidah and Raymah Governorates. With the help of WHO and other partnerships, they shield over 600,00 people from the clutches of cholera. Simultaneously, the Yemeni Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) improved response capacities and cholera surveillance. WHO and its partners, including UMR, strive to combat the spread of cholera. Together, we are trying to bridge the gap between despair and hope with a combination of strategies.
The steps include:
- Improving access to clean water and sanitation facilities
- Providing medical treatment
- Conducting public awareness campaigns to educate communities on the importance of hygiene and sanitation practices.
Despite these concerted efforts, the cholera outbreak persists, necessitating sustained international support.
In partnership with the WHO and HA, this project improved access to cholera treatment through the establishment of 5 cholera treatment centers (CTCs) and 34 oral rehydration centers (ORCs) to reduce the spread and limit the overall mortality rate of cholera in the targeted communities & districts of Al Hodeidah and Raymah Governorates in Yemen.