(AhlulBayt News Agency) - As Yemen is struggling with a cholera epidemic, Saudi warplanes have reportedly stricken a health center treating cholera patients in the impoverished country’s extreme northwest.
The attack killed and injured a number of people at the facility in the Sa’ada Province, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported, citing the province’s health authority.
The epidemic has claimed the lives of 605 Yemenis, 40 percent of whom were children.
UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed (seen below) said on Tuesday that only “less than 45 percent” of medical facilities in the country were functioning.
The disease brings along severe diarrhea, which can kill those afflicted within hours if not treated properly. Malnourished children are especially susceptible.
In March 2015, the Saudi regime and its allies, backed by the US, began a military campaign against Yemen to reinstall its former government. The war has killed over 12,000 civilians since then.
The invasion has been compounded by a Saudi blockade of the country. Back in May, the UN’s children fund reported an unprecedented increase in the number of suspected cholera cases across the country, and said many of those affected were children.
“Yemen has one of the world’s highest number of acutely malnourished children. Public services are on the brink of collapse,” the UNICEF warned, saying, “Anyone with a heart for children cannot let the situation in Yemen continue!”
Attempts at ceasefire have all failed so far on the back of repeated Saudi violations.
On Saturday, the UNICEF said the outbreak was claiming a suspected 3,000 to 5,000 Yemenis every day. Geert Cappelaere, the body’s Middle East director, said in an interview with The Associated Press that 70,000 suspected cases of cholera had been reported in the past month in 19 of Yemen's 22 provinces.
He voiced his concern that cholera cases could double every two weeks -- to 130,000 and then about 300,000 cases -- unless more aid is delivered. The official warned that the outbreak might "spread beyond Yemen" and perturb all states neighboring Yemen where a Saudi war is now in its third year.
"It is sad today, but we hope the cholera outbreak will be the turning point in turning people's attention to Yemen," he said. "Cholera is not going to be stopped by any border."