Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemen’s Ministry of Health: Insurgents Hinder Training of Medical Teams | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Patients infected with cholera lie on beds at a hospital in Sana’a, Yemen May 12, 2017. (Reuters)

London – The Ministry of Health in Yemen is focusing on environmental sanitation to eradicate cholera, spokesman Mohammed al-Saadi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He however noted the collapse of the coup-controlled areas due to the lack of proper sanitation and the accumulation of waste.

Saadi added that epidemic monitoring teams are unable to operate in areas under the control of the Houthis, explaining that technical training for workers needs time, while experience is limited in this field.

He complained of the militias’ obstruction of their work, revealing that doctors in the areas of control of the coup have not been allowed to go to Aden to join the workshops organized by the Yemeni Ministry of Health.

Houthis are making threats to the medical staff who want to go to Aden or cooperate with the legitimate government. Saadi also said that the number of confirmed cholera cases in Yemen is 432, noting that the number of suspected cases is 2,914.

Dr. Saadi explained that there is a difference between suspected cholera cases and suspected acute water diarrhea cases.

The suspected cases of diarrhea amount to around 129,000, while 126,000 patients have been discharged from hospitals. He pointed out that the figures are not released by the Yemeni Ministry of Health, but by the World Health Organization.

The number of deaths has meanwhile reached 942. International circles said these are the numbers of cholera deaths, but the spokesman said that this figure may not be accurate.

Saadi confirmed that the Ministry has requested a laboratory test for every case declared to be death due to cholera, but cooperation with medical facilities in the coup control areas is very difficult.

“We are now relying on international organizations in preparation and training. The insurgents are putting pressure on international organizations to work with local organizations that are affiliated to them,” he said.