Devastated Yemen Faces Another Possible Cholera Crisis
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Yemen is a virtual forgotten war, raging full-scale for over three years, devastating the country and its people, media scoundrels giving it short shrift coverage – US television “news” practically none at all.
Washington is at war on Yemen since the Bush/Cheney regime without declaring it. Most Americans know little or nothing about what’s been going on for many years post-9/11 – drone war escalating to US-orchestrated, Saudi-led terror-bombing.
A Yemeni doctor said the following: “The missiles that kill us, American-made. The planes that kill us, American-made. The tanks…American-made. You are saying to me, where is America? America is the whole thing.”
The same goes for Britain, another major weapons and munitions supplier to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other regional despotic regimes.
Last year’s cholera crisis in Yemen affected over one million people, including at least 600,000 children – the fastest-spread of the disease in modern history.
Devastating US-orchestrated, Saudi-led aggression prevents access to healthcare, enough food, clean water, and other essentials to life and welfare for 80% of the population, fueling the epidemic and other diseases.
According to the UN, the 2017 cholera outbreak affected 21 of 22 Yemeni provinces, over 90% of the country’s territory.
The NGO Save the Children said Yemenis are threatened with another major cholera outbreak – hot summer months ideal for its spread, especially with ongoing war raging.
In the first week of July, 3,000 new cholera cases were reported, the highest weekly total this year so far.
Save the Children CEO Helle Thorning-Schmidt warned of the danger, saying “(c)holera could spread like wildfire in Yemen, potentially infecting thousands of children and completely overwhelming an already-crippled health system.”
“Many hospitals have been reduced to rubble, and those that are still standing are barely functioning. Doctors have not been paid, pharmacies are understocked, and power cuts happen constantly.”
Over 80% of Yemenis depend on aid to survive, inadequate amounts alone available. Malnutrition is rampant. Famine stalks the country, the lives of millions at risk under endless conflict conditions.
The port city of Hodeidah could become ground zero for another massive cholera outbreak if Saudi/UAE forces capture it, enabling them to prevent most aid entering the country, including vital medical supplies.
Dr. Mariam Aldogani in the city warned of another major cholera outbreak, saying number of cases are “increasing day by day,” adding:
“Current conditions mean that it could be difficult to keep the number of cases under control. Water chlorination isn’t a durable solution.”
“The summer heat is relentless. There’s rubbish lining the streets, and the health system is bursting at the seams.”
In its fourth year, Saudi-led aggression continues unrelating – with full US/UK support and encouragement, supplying the kingdom with weapons and munitions, providing intelligence, logistical and target selection help.
Millions of malnourished Yemeni children are slowly starving. In mid-June, Doctor’s Without Borders (MSF) reported its “newly constructed cholera treatment center” in Abs, Yemen terror-bombed by Saudi warplanes.
It was empty at the time, no casualties reported. Roof markings clearly indicated a healthcare facility. It’s now “non-functional.”
The Trump or Theresa May regimes likely selected the facility for destruction, probably providing coordinates to the Saudis to terror-bomb it.
MSF halted its activities in the area “until the safety of its staff and patients is guaranteed” – not possible as long as aggression in Yemen continues.
MSF’s head of mission in Yemen Joao Martins issued the following statement following the incident, saying:
The attack “on an MSF cholera treatment center (CTC) by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition (SELC) shows complete disrespect for medical facilities and patients,” calling it “totally unacceptable,” adding:
“The compound was clearly marked as a health facility and its coordinates were shared with the SELC. With only half of health facilities in Yemen fully functional, nearly 10 million people in acute need, and an anticipated outbreak of cholera, the CTC had been built to save lives. MSF has temporarily frozen its activities in Abs until the safety of its staff and patients is guaranteed.”
Attacking the facility was part of a US-orchestrated campaign to prevent access by Yemenis to vital healthcare while war ravages the country and their well-being.
Senator Chris Murphy opposes ongoing war in Yemen, on June 11 tweeting:
“The Yemen War is spiraling out of control. The Saudi/UAE/US coalition bombed a Doctors Without Borders cholera treatment facility earlier today.”
“Let me repeat that – the US helped bomb A DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS CHOLERA TREATMENT FACILITY.”
Since Obama regime-orchestrated war began in March 2015, Saudi-led terror-bombing continues targeting residential areas, hospitals, schools, refugee camps, food storage areas, mosques, marketplaces, and other nonmilitary sites – high crimes against peace, massacring civilians in cold blood, atrocities committed with impunity.
Endless aggression, malnutrition, starvation, and diseases stalk the Yemeni people without letup.
Another cholera epidemic will cause greater human suffering – compounding the world’s severest humanitarian crisis conditions.
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