• Suspected cholera and acute watery diarrhea cases increased; 108,889 suspected cases were reported between 1 January and 17 March.
• According to local authorities, more than 9,700 families were recently displaced to 18 districts in Hajjah Governorate; most live in open spaces and public buildings.
• Yemen’s economic situation continues to disintegrate due to the ongoing conflict; GDP has contracted by an estimated 39 per cent since 2014.
• The Protection Cluster reports that more than 4,800 civilian deaths and injuries occurred during 2018, an average of 93 civilian casualties per week.
• UNICEF paid incentives to 97,000 out of a target of 136,000 teachers who had not received their salary in two years.
INCREASE IN SUSPECTED CHOLERA CASES
Two years after Yemen suffered its worst cholera outbreak, the number of reported suspected cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea spiked in recent weeks. Data collected by the Ministry of Public Health and Population with the support of WHO indicates that 108,889 suspected cases and 190 associated deaths were recorded between 1 January and 17 March.
About one third of the cases are children under age 5.
Cholera is endemic in Yemen. The worst outbreak was in 2017 when more than a million suspected cases were reported between April and December. The current spike is concentrated in six governorates— Amanat Al Asimah, Al Hudaydah, Sana’a, Ibb, Amran and Dhamar—which together account for nearly two thirds of reported cases.
The recent increase in suspected cholera cases is possibly linked to early rains, increased awareness among the population and therefore a willingness to seek testing and treatment, and enhanced disease surveillance. The situation is exacerbated by poor maintenance of sewage disposal systems in many of the affected districts, the use of contaminated water for irrigation, and population movements.
Humanitarian partners and the Government are jointly providing an integrated response to mitigate the further spread and transmission, focusing on 147 priority districts. Health and WASH cluster supplies are being stockpiled’ partners are pre-positioning fuel for pumping water, and district rapid response teams are investigating cases and providing a quick response.
Diarrhoea Treatment Centres (DTCs) and Oral Rehydration Centres (ORCs) have been established in all priority districts. Partners are seeking support to repair water and sanitation systems and to disinfect water.
In February, WHO, in partnership with the World Bank, delivered 30 mobile laboratory kits to monitor and test water quality in water networks, wells and water trucks.
To further enhance laboratory capacity in Yemen,
WHO trained 125 laboratory technicians on sample collection, transportation, laboratory diagnosis and proper reporting of cases, and is providing reagents to 5 central public health laboratories in Taizz, Ibb,
Al Hudaydah, Aden and Sana’a. The agency is also supporting the provision of incentives to 2,257 health workers in 92 DTCs and ORCs in 13 governorates and providing technical and financial support to 333 rapid response teams in all districts.