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
• Conflict and port status: Military operations in Al Hudaydah have lessened recently, while sporadic shelling and airstrikes hit some districts, including Zabid and Bait Al Faqih. Clashes are raging in AlTohaita District. Several main roads in the city remain blocked, whereas the port is still operational.
Tarik Jašarevic, for the World Health Organization (WHO), said that conditions in Hudaydah, even before the escalation of the conflict, had been some of the direst in Yemen. Hudaydah had registered the highest incidences of suspected cholera cases (around 14 per cent of reported cases countrywide since the start of the epidemic in April 2017) and diphtheria (209 suspected cases). In addition, there had been 252 suspected cases of measles.
• Eleven people were killed by an airstrike in Sa’ada, including nine children, as violence continues in several governorates.
• The UN verified 842 cases of the recruitment and use of boys as young as 11 years old in 2017. Also verified was the killing and maiming of 1,316 children.
• Commodity imports improved in May, leading to better supply and availability in most local markets but prices remained high.
• The Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF) has completed a reserve allocation for US$90m.
Current major event
Upsurge of CCHF cases in Afghanistan
An upsurge in the number of the reported cases of Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) from Afghanistan has been reported during 2018. The increase is mainly in Herat province in the western part of the country. As of week 25-2018, a total of 125 cases including 18 deaths (CFR=14.4%) have been reported countrywide.
The security situation in Yemen continued to deteriorate in May, especially along the West coast and around the city of Al Hudaydah. UNICEF is concerned around child protection and safety of civilians and civilian infrastructure.
New York 20 June 2018
• Humanitarian agencies are increasingly worried by the likely impact of a possible military assault on Al Hudaydah City which will impact hundreds of thousands of civilians.
• Prepositioning of aid supplies continues throughout the Governorate as aid organisations plan to stay and deliver • Forty-six migrants drown off the coast of Yemen
INCREASED CONCERNS AT A POSSIBLE MILITARY ASSAULT ON AL HUDAYDAH
Protection Needs Assessment for 222 HHs.
Nutritional Services in 7 health facilities in Ibb governorate.
CMAM Trainings for health workers and community health volunteers.
Medical Health Services in 7 health facilities in Ibb governorate.
Outreach (door-to-door) activities.
Water Tanks Installation.
Feasibility Study on Water Resources.
1000 Hygiene Kits & 2000 Jerry Water Cans for Fara Al-Udayn district.
Conflict intensifies in Al Hudaydah Governorate; humanitarian actors prepare for additional displacement
First containerized vessel delivers supplies to Al Hudaydah Port since November 2017 port closures
Health actors launch cholera and diphtheria vaccination campaigns in high-risk areas
329 Meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization, April 2018 – conclusions and recommendations
329 Réunion du Groupe stratégique consultatif d’experts sur la vaccination, avril 2018 – conclusions et recommandations
Health Cluster partners continue to provide health services by supporting 1,753 Health Facilities (16 Governorate Hospitals, 95 District Hospitals, 50 General Hospitals, 19 Specialized Hospitals, 456 Health Centers and 1,117 Health Units). The Health Cluster partners also support the GHO and DHO through paying incentives to health staff as well as administration / logistics support to local health authorities.
22.2M People in need
2M IDPs 89% of IDPs displaced for more than a year
956K IDP returnees
CRI 1M recipients of CRIs since March 2015
279K refugees and asylum seekers
$198.7M requested in 2018
$107.6M received as of 30 May 2018
AMMAN/SANA’A, 28 May 2018 – Nearly 1.5 million of the most vulnerable families in Yemen – an estimated 9 million people - have received emergency cash transfers from the Emergency Cash Transfer Project implemented by UNICEF and funded and supported by the World Bank’s International Development Association.
The joint UNICEF-World Bank emergency cash transfer project was launched in mid-2017 and this week concluded its second payment to the most vulnerable Yemenis. A third payment is being planned for August 2018.
The security situation in Yemen deteriorated in April with attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including a UNICEF constructed water system, and the tragic death of an international humanitarian aid worker. Further, this month 61 children were verified as killed and 67 children were maimed.
Conflict intensifies in northern and western Yemen, resulting in civilian casualties, water infrastructure destruction, and additional displacement
Low commercial imports contribute to high prices and shortages, hindering access to basic items and services
Health actors identify seven laboratoryconfirmed cholera cases
The 26 March 2018 saw the third anniversary of the Yemen conflict, which continues to heavily impact the lives of children. As fighting continued this month, 16 children were reportedly killed and 39 were injured.
UNICEF launched a report highlighting the negative effects of conflict on children's education. It also appealed to warring parties to put an end to the war and all grave violations against children.