Sunday, August 20, 2017

Saudi Arabia Responsible for Yemens Cholera

The majority of deaths from Yemen's cholera outbreak have occurred in rebel-controlled areas cut off from supplies due to airstrikes and blockades by a Saudi-led military coalition, according to research.  78 percent of cholera cases and 81 percent of deaths from cholera occurred in Houthi-controlled regions. Only 10.4 per cent of deaths occurred in government-controlled areas.

Yemen is suffering the "world's worst cholera outbreak", according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than half a million people have been infected with cholera since the epidemic began four months ago and almost 2,000 people have died. Each day there are more than 5,000 new cases of cholera, which causes acute diarrhoea and dehydration. Cholera, spread by ingestion of food or water tainted with human faeces, can kill within hours if untreated.

London's Queen Mary University found eight out of 10 cholera deaths took place in regions controlled by Houthi forces who have fought a two-year war against Saudi-aligned forces backing Yemen's official government. The ensuing economic collapse has made it difficult to deal with disease outbreaks such as cholera and mass hunger.

"Saudi-led airstrikes have destroyed vital infrastructure, including hospitals and public water systems, hit civilian areas, and displaced people into crowded and insanitary conditions", Jonathan Kennedy, Andrew Harmer and David McCoy, the study's researchers, wroteThe researchers said the Saudi-led coalition was responsible for the deadly outbreak, by causing shortages of food, medical supplies, fuel and chlorine, and restricting humanitarian access.

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