Weekly update - Cholera in Yemen, 27 July 2017

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27 July 2017 – The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen has reported a cumulative total of 408 583 suspected cases of cholera including 1885 associated deaths as of 26 July for the outbreak which started in October 2016.

The overall case-fatality rate of 0.5% remains below the emergency threshold of 1%. However it is higher in Raymah (1.2%), Ibb (0.8%) and Hajjah (0.8%). The number of suspected cholera cases and deaths has declined compared to previous weeks, although there is a backlog of case information currently under review, and these numbers could change.

WHO and health partners support the Ministry through the cholera task force to improve cholera response efforts at the national and local levels. This includes the establishment of 47 diarrhoea treatment facilities and 278 oral dehydration centres in 16 governorates; training of health workers to manage cases, water purification in communities, deployment of rapid response team to manage cholera cases investigations and respond to the outbreak, and enhancement of Yemen’s disease early warning surveillance systems. Since 27 April, WHO has provided more than 788 000 bags of intravenous fluids, 525 beds with cleaning supplies and 112 kits containing supplies for the treatment of cholera and diarrhoeal diseases.

A reactive cholera vaccination campaign using 1 million single doses of vaccine has been postponed at the request of health authorities in favour of a two-dose preventative vaccination campaign next year targeting more people in the highest risk districts, based on the availability of the vaccine in the global stockpile.

While cholera is endemic in Yemen, the country has experienced a surge in cholera cases since April, with nearly 5000 cases reported per day. Ongoing conflict, destroyed health, water and sanitation infrastructure and malnutrition have caused the people to be more vulnerable to diseases, including cholera.