Yemen: Combined Impact of Cholera and Malnutrition (24 Aug 2017)

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Ongoing conflict has damaged critical water, sanitation, and health infrastructure and disrupted access to food, leading to increasing rates of malnutrition and also contributing to the outbreak of cholera in Yemen. Cholera - an acute diarrheal illness that can spread rapidly through contaminated food and water - is suspected to have infected more than 540,000 people in Yemen since late April 2017. Children suffering from acute malnutrition are especially susceptible to cholera; more than one million children in Yemen suffer from acute malnutrition, according to Save the Children.

Malnutrition and diarrheal disease cycle

The relationship between malnutrition and diarrheal diseases, where poor nutrition inhibits the body’s response to infection and infections can worsen nutritional status, results in more lives lost from both conditions. Malnourished children are more susceptible to developing diarrheal diseases that commonly last longer and are more severe.

US Department of State - Humanitarian Information Unit