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Cholera crisis plagues Yemeni population

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Art by Joanne Jun

Art by Joanne Jun

Art by Joanne Jun

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The current situation in Yemen is bleak: the country has had a civil war raging across it for the past two years. Water is limited, and if there does happen to be water, it’s unclean and unsafe to drink.

Yemen, a country in the Middle East, has had massive damage from the war, which has ruined sanitation and health services, leaving clean water unavailable. Cholera, a waterborne disease, has taken hold of many of the country’s children.

According to science teacher Mrs. Paula Nicolau, the incubation for cholera is between 3 hours and 5 days. This means that a person can become sick with cholera as quickly as 3 hours after they drink contaminated water.

Cholera spreads through contaminated water or food, causing severe diarrhea and dehydration in those affected. It is treatable, however, if medical attention is prompt and effective. Yet Yemen’s medical services have been greatly depleted, and other countries are trying to help the war-torn country.

“This crisis is horrible,” said freshman Morgan Trunda. “Cholera is an older disease; it should be avoidable by this point.”

The International Rescue Committee has set up mobile health units in Yemen’s affected areas, providing limited medical services to cholera patients. Despite their best efforts, the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated the number of cholera cases at 500,000 this year alone. WHO has also set up treatment clinics in an attempt to stabilize Yemen’s rapidly failing healthcare system.

“They need clean water,” said science teacher Mrs. Vicky Giusti. “It is completely avoidable. We take things for granted; they don’t even have clean water.”

The crisis, avoidable or not, still rages in Yemen. It continues to affect thousands as patients don’t receive medical attention in time and doctors don’t have enough supplies. The danger of living in a war-torn country makes those with cholera afraid of making the journey to one of the few medical clinics. Water continues to be one of the greatest needs, a need that is not able to be met. The Yemenis face a long journey ahead—a journey to rebuild the healthcare structure to effectively stop the spread of cholera.

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Cholera crisis plagues Yemeni population