Epidemics today


Cholera in Yemen. – Epidemics are sometimes spread during political crisis and armed conflict, such as in the current case of Yemen, where the anti-government Houthi rebels, allegedly with the backing of Iran, are fighting a war with the Saudi Arabia-led coalition backed up by the US. Already 50,000 children are believed to have died in 2017 from disease and starvation, while 900,000 Yemenis are infected with cholera.

Described by Oxfam as the worst cholera epidemic on record, WHO, according to its own report, has nevertheless been able to treat 700,000 people for suspected cholera, with over 99% of suspected cases surviving, in a situation where an estimated 14.8 million people lack access to basic health care.



McKernan, Bethan. Yemen cholera outbreak set to be the worst on record. Independent, 29 September 2017. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-cholera-outbreak-worst-on-record-health-middle-east-a7973726.html.

Nichols, Michelle. Yemen children are dying at a rate of 130 a day while Saudi-led blockade continues. Sydney Morning Herald, 18 November 2017. http://www.smh.com.au/world/yemen-children-are-dying-at-a-rate-of-130-a-day-while-saudiled-blockade-continues-20171118-gzo21m.html.

WHO. Outbreak update – cholera in Yemen, 26 October 2017. http://www.emro.who.int/surveillance-forecasting-response/outbreaks/outbreak-update-cholera-in-yemen-26-october-2017.html.

WHO. WHO’s Response to Cholera in Yemen, 27 April-20 September 2017. http://www.emro.who.int/pdf/yem/yemeninfocus/situation-reports.pdf.

WHO. Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2017. http://www.who.int/emergencies/response-plans/2017/yemen/en/.


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