Yemen: Diphtheria Outbreak - Nov 2017Ongoing
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 of 28 January 2018, Yemen is grappling with a spike in diphtheria, which has claimed 48 lives in the last two months. WHO reported on 11 January 2018 that diphtheria-related deaths had been recorded in 19 governorates. Across the country, 610 suspected cases have been reported. The diphtheria outbreak occurs against the backdrop of a cholera epidemic accounting for more than 2,200 lives lost and more than one million suspected cases reported, since April 2017. (OCHA, 28 Jan 2018)
WHO reports that, as of 15 February 2018, the cumulative number of suspected diphteria cases is 1,085 with 66 associated deaths. 20 governorates and 162 districts have reported suspected cases. Ibb and Al Hudaydah are the most affected governorates. Children under the age of five years account for 30 per cent of suspected cases and for 47 per cent of dipheria associated deaths. (OCHA, 18 Feb 2018)
As of 14 April 2018, the local health authorities reported a total of 1,584 suspected diphtheria cases including 85 associated deaths (CFR=5.4%). The diphtheria outbreak has affected 195 districts from 20 governorates. At governorate level, Ibb and Sana'a are the most affected governorates. Children (<5 years of age) represent 20% of suspected diphtheria cases and 38% of associated deaths. The most affected age group is 5-15 years old representing 44 % of the cases. A cumulative total of 6,842 diphtheria contacts have been given preventative antibiotics, 142 during week 15. (WHO/Gov't of Yemen, 14 Apr 2018)
As of 24 June 2018, local health authorities confirmed a cumulative total of 1,907 suspected diphtheria cases, included 98 associated deaths with Ibb and Sana’a among the most affected governorates. Children between 5-15 years old are the most affected, representing 44% of all cases. (UNICEF, 30 Jun 2018)
The weekly number of probable diphtheria cases identified has remained generally stable over the past several weeks, according to the Yemen Ministry of Public Health and Population (MOPHP). Less than five new probable cases were confirmed during the last week of December 2018, according to the MOPHP. These levels are slightly lower than those reported over the previous month and are significantly lower than those observed since the peak of the outbreak in January 2018, when the number of probable cases identified approached or exceeded 100 cases per week. In terms of cumulative numbers, the governorates worst affected by the diphtheria outbreak include Ibb, Sana’a, Hajjah, and Al Hudaydah governorates. (FEWS NET, 17 Jan 2019)
A total cumulative of probable diphtheria cases has reached 3,543 cases, with 203 associated deaths (a CFR rate of 5.7 per cent). As of 31 March, 22 governorates and 233 districts are reportedly affected by the diphtheria outbreak. Given the onset of diseases such as cholera, diphtheria and measles, UNICEF has continued to prioritize and expand on its immunization activities in Yemen. (UNICEF, 31 Mar 2019)
As of the end of June, there have been over 3,800 probable cases, with 214 associated deaths. (UNICEF, 30 Jun 2019)
Maps & Infographics
Most read reports
- WHO: WHO EMRO Weekly Epidemiological Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 44 (03 November 2019). 11 Nov 2019
- ACAPS: Access to Basic Needs in Yemen: Scenarios - Possible developments affecting Yemenis' access to basic needs and services in 2020. 7 Nov 2019
- OCHA: 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (January-December 2019) [EN/AR]. 19 Feb 2019
- OCHA: Yemen: Humanitarian Response Plan January-December 2018 [EN/AR]. 20 Jan 2018
- OCHA: Yemen Humanitarian Update Covering 7 - 21 March 2019 | Issue 5 [EN/AR]. 24 Mar 2019
Half a million children displaced by fighting in Hodeidah in just six months
SANAA, 31 January 2019 – At least one in ten children across Yemen (1.5 million) have been forced from their homes because of the four-year-long brutal war, exposing them to serious risks including hunger, disease and violence, warns Save the Children.
The conflict-driven humanitarian crisis in Yemen has been described as the largest emergency in the world, with more than 22 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Conflict has led to the internal displacement of 2.2 million people, left over 1 million public sector workers without pay for two years and undermined humanitarian access. An estimated 12 million Yemenis, including 2 million children, will be dependent on food assistance in 2019.
Today, we continue to remind the world of forgotten diseases, lives lost and the consequences of lifelong injuries.
In Yemen, we have treated almost 92,000 patients since 2015, while in Gaza, we have provided specialist care to more than 3,000 patients with gunshot wounds as a result of the Great March of Return protests.
Whether through missing limbs or emotional scars, these patients will have to live with lifelong consequences that are often overlooked.
World's largest food security emergency continues as conflict enters its fifth year
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Lorraine Marulanda, Head of the Middle East and North Africa for the British Red Cross, said: "We welcome the international efforts taking place to work towards a lasting political solution for Yemen. We hope that these efforts will ensure a long-term cessation of hostilities and the opening up of humanitarian access.
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UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, responds to emergencies in some of the world’s poorest countries, delivering lifesaving sexual and reproductive health supplies and services to protect the rights, safety and dignity of women and young people affected by crises. In 2017, UNFPA reached 16 million people in 58 countries with humanitarian assistance, including 10.8 million people reached with sexual and reproductive health services and 3.9 million people reached with gender-based violence (GBV) services. In the last decade, UNFPA’s humanitarian activities have grown exponentially.
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This is a summary of what was said by Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press conference in Amman, following his visit to Yemen.
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Gisela Vallès is medical team leader at the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Abs, the capital of the district of the same name in northern Yemen.
Increased fighting in the region in recent weeks is causing new waves of displacement.
In this interview, Gisela explains the challenges and obstacles her team face in providing assistance to the displaced groups and host communities.
How is the conflict affecting people in the district of Abs?
• Conflict and port status: During September, parts of Al-Hudaydah governorate witnessed sporadic ground fighting, intensive airstrikes and shelling, especially in Kilo 16 and Kilo 10 areas. The road connecting Sana’a and Al-Hudaydah is blocked due to severe fighting and people have to use a longer road to reach Al-Hudaydah City through the Bajil-Al-Dhahi road.