The massive cholera outbreak in Yemen resulted in more than 100,000 suspected cases, nearly half of which are children under 15, the World Health Organization reports.

As of June 7, the number of suspected cholera cases reached 101,829; of the number, 791 have died.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection that can kill within hours if left untreated, but can be treated with oral rehydration solution. In Yemen, the massive epidemic is killing one person per hour, said Oxfam, a charity organization.

Children under the age of 15 accounted for 46 percent of the cases, and nearly a third of fatalities were aged 60 years old and above.

 “These cholera hot spots are the source of much of the country’s cholera transmission,” said WHO head in Yemen, Dr Nevio Zagari. He added that stamping out cholera in these hot spots will slow the disease spread and save lives.

However, Yemen, an Arab country in Western Asia, is under conflict due to clashes between government forces and the Houthi movement.  As a result, there has been a decline in the health and water systems.

About 300 health facilities in the country are no longer functioning, according to BBC.

Fourteen-and-a-half (14.5) million people have been cut-off from access to clean water and sanitation, and health workers have not received their salaries.

Worse, WHO indicated that children are the worse affected, and that many of those who died were acutely malnourished.

“Cholera is simple to treat and prevent but while the fighting continues the task is made doubly difficult. A massive aid effort is needed now,” said Oxfam’s director for Yemen, Sajjad Mohammed Sajid.

The WHO along with UNICEF and other partners, are working to respond to the latest outbreak.

About 3.5 million people have been reached, their water sources disinfected, drinking waters chlorinated, and water treatment plants restored.

Likewise, the organizations are distributing medical supplies, screenings, and setting up oral rehydration centres.

“All this is done along with disseminating hygiene awareness to the affected populations,” the WHO reported.

Still, the biggest need remains support in the field across the country. MIMS

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