SANA’A – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday that it was making progress in the efforts to stop the cholera outbreak in Yemen that has killed nearly 2,000 people since April and is believed to have infected half a million Yemenis.
UNICEF said in a statement that ordinary Yemenis were leading a heroic daily struggle against acute watery diarrhea and cholera and their efforts were now bearing fruit.
The UN agency added that the number of new infections per week had decreased by one-third since June.
The number of weekly new cases had stabilized at around 35,000 since mid-August, in contrast to the nearly 50,000 weekly reported in June – during the peak of the disease’s outbreak in the country – the World Health Organization reported on Monday.
According to UNICEF, the campaign against cholera currently involves about 40,000 volunteers who have reached more than 2.7 million families.
However, the agency said that despite recent successes, the epidemic is far from over and the armed conflict in Yemen is a major obstacle to combating it.
Because of the violence, the water and sanitation infrastructure has collapsed and half of the sanitation facilities are out of service, according to the statement.
The conflict in Yemen began in 2014, when Houthi rebels seized Sana’a, and escalated in March 2015 with the intervention of the Saudi-led Arab coalition in support of the internationally-recognized President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.