ACAPS Briefing Note – Yemen: Cholera Outbreak, 18 May 2017
A cholera outbreak was reported in Yemen on 27 April. Since then, the number of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) or suspected cholera cases has increased to reach over 17,200, including 209 deaths, and the infection rate is rising quickly. The outbreak has affected 18 districts: Sana’a City (Amanat al Asemah) is the most heavily affected area, with over 4,000 suspected cases. A state of emergency has been declared in the governorate.
Anticipated scope and scale
The number of cases is expected to continue rising, due to the poor state of the healthcare system and lack of access to safe clean water sources for much of the population. The case fatality rate is 1.2%, and approximately 3,000 new cases are being reported each day. Without urgent action, the situation is likely to worsen considerably: 7.6 million people live in areas at high risk of transmission.
WASH: 14.5 million people are in need of WASH assistance, and lack consistent access to safe water, of which 8.2 million people are in acute need. The worst affected areas are in the west of the country, where cholera cases have now been declared.
Health: 14.8 million people lack access to adequate healthcare services. Only 45% of healthcare facilities across the country are functioning at present. In areas where healthcare is available, cost of services is a barrier to access. Lack of availability and cost of services are preventing cholera affected people from accessing immediate medical assistance.
A de facto blockade on all imports, including humanitarian aid, is causing significant difficulties in importing adequate medical supplies, food and fuel to meet the country’s needs.
31% of Yemen’s 333 districts face moderate to severe access constraints, making it very difficult for humanitarian agencies to reach people in these areas with assistance.
Active conflict is ongoing in several areas of the country; particularly Taiz and al Hudaydah. Both governorates have declared cholera cases.