IN YEMEN, a child under the age of five dies from preventable causes every ten minutes. This is the shocking statistic which drives the charity Human Appeal to push on with providing aid on the ground in this war-ravaged country.
The latest problem is cholera. World Health Organisation data is that 1,500 people have died since the current epidemic broke out – and 40% of them were children. A huge 14.5 million people do not have access to clean water or sanitation facilities – a situation which is helping the water-borne cholera disease become such a big problem.
Yemen is not equipped to combat cholera. A civil war has been raging for two years, and there is no functioning economy left. Yemen was a poor country before the civil war broke out, and there is no residue of wealth to act as a safety net for the population. Rates of malnutrition have triggered a Global Acute Malnutrition threshold and tens of thousands of people are on the brink of starvation.
The UN estimates that fewer than half of the country’s hospitals are functioning. They are severely overcrowded and it is not unusual for four patients to share a single bed, with other patients accommodated on stretchers in corridors. There is little by way of a basic health service for people to rely on if they cannot reach one of these over-stretched hospitals.
Human Aid continues to work in Yemen, trying to keep people alive.
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