Yemen: UNICEF, WHO vaccinate 306,000 against cholera

October 7, 2018

UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have vaccinated more than 306,000 people in Yemen against cholera, including over 164,000 children under the age of 15, UNICEF announced on Friday.

The number was announced after the conclusion of a joint six-day vaccination campaign carried out by 3,000 health workers in the southern cities of Al-Hudaydah and Ibb, after a pause in fighting between the warring parties.

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“The success of this vaccination campaign shows what we can collectively achieve for children and families in Yemen when the fighting stops and humanitarian access opens up,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. She added:

Yet the reality is that this is a quick fix. Only a comprehensive political resolution to the conflict can secure the wellbeing of children across the country over the long term.

Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “It is unacceptable for people to die from preventable diseases. We are grateful for the pause in fighting which enabled us to complete the cholera vaccination campaign”.

Ghebreyesus added: “Vaccination is one of many health services people need. Ultimately, peace is the only road to health”.

Since April 2017, there have been over 1.2 million suspected cholera cases and 2,515 associated deaths in the country – one of the worst outbreaks in recent history.

The vaccination is critical to preventing further spread of the disease. This campaign aimed to reach 540,000 people across Yemen.

middleeastmonitor