WHO urges Yemen to accept vaccines as cholera crisis deepens

September 18, 2017

The World Health Organization on Monday urged Yemen to approve cholera vaccinations it has offered to help contain an epidemic that could affect nearly a million people by year's end.

Yemen, where a multinational conflict has caused a humanitarian crisis, had asked the UN health agency earlier this year for doses of the , said Dominique Legros, the agency's specialist.

The WHO sent a million doses in June only to see the Yemeni government change its mind, leading the United Nations to reassign the vaccines to Somalia and Sudan, Legros told reporters in Geneva.

Asked about Yemen's reversal, Legros said only that discussions with countries about vaccinations could be "complicated", noting the lack of familiarity with them in affected communities, especially in the case of newer vaccines like the one for cholera.

"We are still in negotiation with the government in Yemen to make sure we can also use (vaccines) to help control" the outbreak, he said.

Last week, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the rampant cholera crisis in Yemen had reached "colossal proportions", warning that it could affect 850,000 people by the end of the year.

More than 2,000 people have perished from the disease, according to the WHO.

The epidemic has put further strain on a ravaged health system in Yemen, where less than half of healthcare facilities are functioning as the conflict drags on.

Since March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition has been waging a war on behalf of the internationally recognised government against Iran-backed Huthi rebels.

More than 8,000 people have been killed, including at least 1,500 children, and millions displaced in the conflict which has pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine.

Explore further: 'Unsung heroes' winning Yemen cholera battle: UNICEF

Related Stories

'Unsung heroes' winning Yemen cholera battle: UNICEF

August 29, 2017
The cholera epidemic that has ravaged war-torn Yemen has been declining for the past two months because of an unprecedented response by "unsung local heroes", the United Nations said Tuesday.

ICRC says 600,000 Yemenis could contract cholera in 2017

July 23, 2017
More than 600,000 people are expected to contract cholera in Yemen this year, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned Sunday as the war-torn country's healthcare system faces collapse.

Cholera cases in Yemen could hit 850,000 this year: Red Cross

September 13, 2017
The cholera epidemic tearing through Yemen, exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in the war-ravaged country, could impact 850,000 people by the end of the year, the Red Cross warned Wednesday.

UN: Yemen unlikely to get cholera vaccine as first planned

July 11, 2017
U.N. officials said Tuesday that plans to ship as many as 1 million doses of cholera vaccine to Yemen are likely to be shelved over security, access and logistical challenges, even as the deadly caseload continues to balloon ...

Yemen cholera death toll mounts to 209: UNICEF

May 17, 2017
A cholera outbreak in Yemen has killed 209 people in recent weeks with 17,200 suspected cases across the war-torn country, the United Nations children's agency said Wednesday.

Yemen cholera toll nears 1,000 as 'humanity loses out to politics'

June 8, 2017
The death toll from a cholera outbreak is approaching 1,000 in Yemen, a war-devastated and impoverished country where "humanity is losing out to politics", a senior UN official said Thursday.

Recommended for you

A new approach to developing a vaccine against vivax malaria

September 21, 2018
A novel study reports an innovative approach for developing a vaccine against Plasmodium vivax, the most prevalent human malaria parasite outside sub-Saharan Africa. The study led by Hernando A. del Portillo and Carmen Fernandez-Becerra, ...

Pre-clinical success for a universal flu vaccine offers hope for third generation approach

September 21, 2018
Researchers from the University of Oxford's Department of Zoology have demonstrated pre-clinical success for a universal flu vaccine in a new paper published in Nature Communications.

Researchers define possible molecular pathway for neurodegeneration in prion diseases

September 21, 2018
A new study has shed light on the mechanisms underlying the progression of prion diseases and identified a potential target for treatment.

Fighting a deadly parasite: Scientists devise a method to store Cryptosporidium, aiding vaccine research efforts

September 21, 2018
In May, just before one of the hottest summers on record, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning about diseases lurking in recreational water facilities like swimming pools and water playgrounds. ...

Scientists make significant discovery in the fight against drug-resistant tuberculosis

September 20, 2018
A team of scientists have identified a naturally occurring antibiotic that may help in the fight against drug-resistant Tuberculosis.

Anti-cancer drugs may hold key to overcoming antimalarial drug resistance

September 20, 2018
Scientists have found a way to boost the efficacy of the world's most powerful antimalarial drug with the help of chemotherapy medicines, according to new research published in the journal Nature Communications.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.