Yemen: Diphtheria Outbreak - Nov 2017Alert
Diphtheria is making an alarming comeback in the war torn country, with 189 clinically diagnosed cases and 20 deaths – mostly children and young adults – in the last three months. Most diphtheria cases and deaths have been reported in Ibb governorate but the outbreak is spreading fast, already affecting 13 governorates. The closest points of entry to Ibb are in Sana’a and Hodeida, making it crucial that Sana’a airport and the port of Hodeida remain open. (WHO, 27 Nov 2017)
By 4 December, 318 suspected cases of diphtheria and 28 deaths had been reported in 15 of Yemen’s 20 governorates. Half the suspected cases are children between the ages of 5 and 14, and nearly 95% of deaths are children under 15. Nearly 70% of all suspected cases are in Ibb governorate. (MSF, 12 Dec 2017)
312 suspected cases of diphtheria have been reported in Yemen between mid-August and 20 December. The outbreak has resulted in 35 deaths reported. At 11%, the case fatality rate (CFR) is high. 18 out of Yemen’s 22 governorates are affected, with Ibb having the majority of cases. (ACAPS, 22 Dec 2017)
As per the diphtheria report dated 24 December from the MoPHP, the suspected diphtheria cases are 381, including 38 associated deaths--the outbreak is currently affecting 18 governorates. As of week, 51--the vast majority of cases were reported from Ibb governorates (211) cases specifically from (Assadah, Yareem and Rural Ibb districts), followed by Al Hudaydah (38) cases, Aden (29) cases and Dhamar (19). Most of deaths cases were reported from Ibb (13 deaths) followed by Al Hudaydah (8 deaths), 3 deaths from Amran and Dhamar (2), Abyan (2) Aden (2), Taiz (3) and Hajjah (2), Aljawf (1) and, Sa'adah (1). Reported cases have made the first peak on week 38 (21 cases) and on week 44 (28 cases) onwards continued with more or less 20 cases, but started a sharp increase on week 48 (51 cases) followed by a decline to 38 cases on week 49. (WHO/UNICEF 24 Dec 2017)
Maps & Infographics
Most read (last 30 days)
- Global Early Warning – Early Action Report on Food Security and Agriculture: January - March 2018
- Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock – Statement on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, 5 January 2018 [EN/AR]
- UNICEF Yemen Humanitarian Situation Report (November 2017) [EN/AR]
- WHO, WFP and UNICEF: Yemen’s families cannot withstand another day of war, let alone another 1,000
- Ten humanitarian crises to look out for in 2018
Seventeen aid agencies working in Yemen are urging for the complete and unconditional opening of Hudaydah port to allow for the uninterrupted flow of food and fuel. A thirty-day concession period enabling the delivery of commercial supplies has brought only brief reprieve within the context of a sustained blockade on Yemen’s Red Sea Ports. Parties to Yemen’s conflict have a responsibility to minimise the impact of war on civilians in Yemen by mitigating all factors that exacerbate death and suffering, as over 8 million people are already on the verge of starvation.
• First commercial ships arrive at Al Hudaydah Port since November 6 port closures
• Diphtheria outbreak nears 600 suspected cases as of December 31
• Escalated violence in December results in at least 245 civilian deaths, displaces 25,000 people in western Yemen
Current major event
Health threats reported in 2017
In 2017, a variety of emerging and reemerging infectious disease threats were reported in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). Most of the threats began in 2016, including chikungunya in Pakistan, or were already endemic in the country, for example, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Afghanistan. However, new threats, such as diphtheria in Yemen, have also been observed this year.
Cholera Situation Update:
The cumulative total of suspected cholera cases reported since 27th April 2017, reached 1,005,207 as of 24 December 2017, with 2,229 associated deaths reported across the country, the overall case fatality rate is 0.22%.
In the past month, there has been progress in opening Yemen’s critical Red Sea ports to commercial fuel and food shipments as well as the resumption of humanitarian shipments and flights. However, I remain deeply concerned by the deterioration in the humanitarian situation – a catastrophe made worse by recent increases in fighting and airstrikes.
The spread of diphtheria - which can be prevented by vaccine - compounds widespread hunger and one of the worst cholera outbreaks ever recorded
By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA, Jan 4 (Reuters) - At least 471 people in Yemen are believed to have been infected with diphtheria, killing one in 10 of them since the outbreak began in mid-August, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
Read more on the Thomson Reuters Foundation
The Global Early Warning – Early Action (EWEA) report on food security and agriculture is developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The report is part of FAO’s EWEA system, which aims to translate forecasts and early warnings into anticipatory action.
IRIN’s editors sketch out the gloomy-looking horizon for next year
Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) summary for November 2017 covering mixed migration events, trends and data for Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia/Somaliland and Yemen.
Joint Statement on Yemen
WHO, WFP and UNICEF appeal for humanitarian access and an end to conflict, as 75 per cent of population now in need of urgent assistance
NEW YORK, 29 December 2017 – “We have passed the grim milestone of 1,000 days of war in Yemen. As violence has escalated in recent days, children and families are yet again being killed in attacks and bombardments.
As host to some of the world’s biggest emergencies, the Eastern Mediterranean Region carries the largest burden of people in need of aid, with more than 76 million people directly or indirectly affected by political conflict, environmental threats, and natural disasters.
A blockade of Yemen’s ports since 6 November has been preventing the import of much needed commercial and humanitarian supplies. The humanitarian situation is further compounded by a price inflation of basic commodities, impacting the purchasing power and increasing food insecurity.
Further escalation of the conflict during the reporting month has resulted in a worsening situation for children with 31 cases of children (27 boys; 4 girls) killed and 56 children (41 boys; 15 girls) maimed, both verified.
I remain deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in Yemen, where more than 22 million people need humanitarian assistance – 8.4 million of whom are already on the edge of starvation. Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure have continued and must stop. I am encouraged, however, by the news that the first commercial fuel imports into Hudaydah port since 6 November docked today, while commercial food imports that resumed in recent weeks have continued.
22 December 2017 – The total number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has crossed one million, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) reported today, urging greater efforts to tackle the outbreak and deal with the deteriorating health situation in the war-torn nation.
“The epidemic is not yet over and more concerted efforts need to be deployed to ensure that it is controlled in the immediate term and prevented from reoccurring in the near future,” WHO spokesperson Tarik Jašarevic told a press briefing in Geneva.
On 29 October 2017, the WHO team in Sana’a, Yemen received reports of suspected cases of Diphtheria from Ibb governorate. From 13 August through 21 December 2017, a total of 333 suspected cases including 35 deaths (case fatality ratio = 10.5%) have been reported from 20 governorates. In the absence of laboratory-confirmation, the current situation is being treated as an outbreak of suspected diphtheria based on clinical diagnosis.
312 suspected cases of diphtheria have been reported in Yemen between mid-August and 20 December. The outbreak has resulted in 35 deaths reported. At 11%, the case fatality rate (CFR) is high. 18 out of Yemen’s 22 governorates are affected, with Ibb having the majority of cases. Children aged 5-14 account for around 50% of suspected cases. About 90% of fatalities were reported in children aged less than 15.
SANA’A, 21 Dec 2017 – A World Health Organization-chartered aircraft carrying more than 70 tons of essential medicines and surgical supplies landed in Sana’a Airport today, the largest planeload delivered by WHO to Yemen this year.
The shipment contains trauma kits sufficient to meet the needs of 2000 patients requiring surgical care, as well as various types of rapid diagnostic tests and laboratory reagents to cover the urgent needs of central laboratories and blood banks.
SANA’A, 20 Dec 2017 –A UNICEF-chartered plane landed today in Sana’a and delivered nearly 6 million doses of essential vaccines to protect millions of children at risk of preventable diseases, including the current diphtheria outbreak that has reportedly infected over 300 people and killed 35. Most diphtheria cases and deaths are in children.