Due to War and Siege, Unprecedented Epidemics Swept Yemen in 2020

Yemen has witnessed an unprecedented outbreak of deadly diseases and epidemics that caused thousands of deaths as a result of the war and the siege imposed on the Yemeni people six years ago.

The blockade and the closure of Sana’a International Airport and the failure to enter the necessary medicines have caused the spread of epidemics and diseases in light of the difficult living situation, which has exacerbated the human tragedy that Yemenis are experiencing in full view of the world.

preventing the entry of oil derivatives by the Saudi-led coalition, led to the spread of epidemics and diseases such as cholera, malaria, dengue and others, and the difficulty in obtaining good health services and clean drinking water.

Epidemics Outbreaks

A report issued by Sana’a-based Ministry of Public Health and Population stated that the total number of suspected cholera cases in the past year 2020 amounted to 228,000 cases, while the cases of suspected seasonal influenza infections reached 6,615 cases.

READ: 218,000 suspected cholera cases in Yemen, 78 died: WHO

The report indicated that the suspected cases of diphtheria amounted to 14,210 cases, while the suspected cases of rabies reached 14,210 cases.

About 1,200,000 suspected cases of malaria were also recorded, and the number of confirmed cases reached 152,000 cases, while confirmed cases of dengue fever reached 57,000 cases, according to the report.

Rapid interventions to cope with epidemics

Spokesman for Sana’a Ministry of Health, Dr. Najeeb Al-Qubati, said that “the malevolent war targeted people, trees and stones, destroyed infrastructure and caused thousands of deaths as a result of preventing the arrival of medicine and food.”

He mentioned that preventing the entry of medicines and oil derivatives increased the suffering of the Yemeni people and contributed greatly to the spread of epidemics and diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, influenza, dengue, malaria and other diseases that killed the Yemeni people.

Dr. Al-Qabati pointed out that the Ministry is doing its utmost to confront these diseases and epidemics and reduce them, especially in west coast provinces.

He indicated that the ministry faces the health damages resulting from the repercussions of the war and siege, the high rates of poverty and the decrease or interruption of government budgets for health or service activities that coincide with the deficiency in the infrastructure services of the various sectors, in addition to the displacement, which is an important factor in the transmission of diseases and makes the abandoned homes breeding points for mosquitoes that transmit dengue and other diseases.

The spokesman affirmed that the Ministry of Health in Sana’a is preparing early and periodically to provide control supplies such as pesticides and spray equipment to carry out routine spraying works, eliminate vectors, distribute mosquito nets impregnated with pesticides to the population in the targeted areas to protect them from mosquitoes, as well as provide health facilities with medicines and diagnostic supplies.

Malaria and dengue

Dr. Al-Qubati stated that the response in relation to combating malaria and dengue fever was through the distribution of about 2,500,000 mosquito nets to protect five million beneficiaries, and spraying more than 700,000 homes inhabited by about six million beneficiaries, in addition to the distribution of more than 1,500,000 rapid examination tapes for malaria and dengue, and providing various malaria drugs to about 950,000 patients with malaria and training more than 10,000 health personnel on the treatment policy for malaria, dengue and microscopic diagnosis of malaria.

Cholera patients

With regard to confronting cholera, the Ministry of Health spokesperson confirmed that more than four million cases of diarrhea and cholera have been registered, diagnosed and treated.

He explained that 250 treatment centers and a thousand irrigation sections have been prepared, in addition to building and equipping 39 centers, and supplying cholera treatment centers and irrigation corners with more than 1,800,000 liters of fuel and more than 75 million liters of clean water, providing hospitals with more than 14,500,000 liters of fuel and more than 490 million liters of clean water.

Diphtheria and Schistosomiasis

Dr. al-Qubati pointed out that with regard to rapid intervention to confront diphtheria, 28 treatment centers and intensive care centers for diphtheria cases were repaired and equipped in 28 hospitals, noting that 3,500,000 cases were treated from schistosomiasis risk in high-risk districts, while 26,000 cases of tuberculosis were discovered and treated.

For six years, citizens have lived with apprehension for fear of death by bombing or fatal diseases and epidemics, in light of the continuing war on Yemen that left a catastrophic health situation as a result of the systematic destruction of the infrastructure and the suffocating siege.