With growing concern that another cholera outbreak is imminent in the ever-worsening humanitarian situation across Yemen, the World Health Organization (WHO) is requesting a three-day ceasefire for the entire country to facilitate cholera vaccinations.
Malnutrition, lack of fresh water, and medicine shortages have made cholera a recurring problem in Yemen’s war. The most recent outbreak was the worst in human history, and WHO is warning that the new outbreak would have an even higher death rate because of even worse malnutrition.
There has never been a formal cholera vaccination program in northern Yemen, but the WHO plan would have 3,000 workers vaccinating over 500,000 people in and around the port city of Hodeidah, the main focus of the Saudi-led offensive.
Hodeidah has seen a number of new cholera cases in recent days. The ability to carry out a vaccination program on this case depends on a ceasefire, however, as dozens of Saudi airstrikes in the past couple of days have made carrying out large-scale operations all but impossible.
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