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Yemen cholera outbreak kills 2,150

The cholera outbreak in the war-torn Yemen is the largest single-year cholera outbreak ever on record and over 2,150 people have died since April, said a UN official.

“Over 820,000 suspected cholera cases and over 2,150 associated deaths since April 27 have been reported as of Thursday,” UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, told reporters on Friday at the UN Headquarters, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The outbreak has spread to 92 per cent of Yemen’s districts,” he said. This week the World Health Organization (WHO) chartered two flights to the traditional capital of Sanaa carrying more than 53 tons of essential medicine and medical supplies.

Dujarric said humanitarian workers reached “more than 2.2 million people with essential medicine and (medical) kits, including providing some 600,000 with medicines for non-communicable diseases.”

He also said the WHO and the UN children’s agency (UNICEF) were helping local health authorities in all of Yemen’s governorates in a polio vaccination campaign aimed at reaching 5.3 million children under the age of five.

Yemen has been caught up in a civil war since a Shia insurgency led by Hussein al-Houthi began in 2004 and has now drawn in a Saudi Arabia-led coalition to help the government counter it.