On October 6, 11 cases of Cholera were confirmed positive in one neighbourhood of the capital Sana’a. No confirmed cases have been reported in other locations in Yemen. UNICEF, together with WHO and Health authorities, have initiated a rapid response setting up a treatment centre as well as dispatching an investigation team to the affected neighbourhood. The source of infection was identified as water and commercial food contamination.
• UNICEF is planning to provide 1 million people with adequate water supply in the affected areas which includes improvement of water infrastructure.
• UNICEF is conducting cholera awareness activities among the community.
• UNICEF and its partners are supporting environmental hygiene through solid waste collection and disposal and sanitation/drainage improvement at household, community and city level.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Health authorities in Yemen confirmed a cholera outbreak on 6 October 2016, posing an increased health risk to the population especially children. This is particularly serious given the crumbling health system in the country as well as deteriorated nutrition situation. Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) announced that a total of 11 out of 25 suspected diarrhea cases have been confirmed as Cholera cases in the capital, Sana’a. The stool samples of these cases tested positive for Vibrio Cholera (01 –Eltor- Ogawa). The cases were admitted to Al-Sabeen Hospital in Sana’a in the first week of October and are currently receiving treatment for acute dehydration in an isolated section of the hospital.
Another 30 cases that were suspected in the South-western city of Taiz and the coastal city of Hodeida have been identified by MoPHP as non-Cholera cases.
A MoPHP surveillance team was dispatched together with a WHO-UNICEF rapid response team to the affected neighborhood in Sana’a, where the patients were living. The teams investigated the source of cholera cases, tested the water sources in the area and started awareness activities about cholera among the community. 26 Water samples were taken from wells, water trucks and the case house along with neighboring houses in addition to 6 food samples. After thorough clinical analysis of the collected samples, MoPHP determined that the source of infection is linked to contaminated water, contaminated commercial food and inadequate sanitation exacerbated by low levels of hygiene practices.