© Agnes Varraine-Leca/MSF
04 Jun 19 12 Jun 19

Yemen: Stories of patients affected by cholera

In Yemen, there has been a resurgence of cholera, diphtheria and measles because the health system is in a state of collapse. Between 2016 and 2017, two waves of cholera hit Yemen. Although the disease was subsequently brought under control, health authorities and medical organisations have continued to see cholera cases in almost all governorates of the country since the end of the last outbreak. Yemenis continue to struggle to access healthcare and afford basic commodities such as fuel and food; patients often arrive at medical facilities late and cannot access healthcare in a timely manner, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Between 1 January and 1 May 2019, MSF admitted around 10,000 suspected cholera cases to its health facilities in Amran, Hajjah, Sanaa, Ibb and Taiz governorates.

If left untreated, cholera can have a mortality rate of 40% in some cases. The video below shows how MSF staff treat patients in an MSF cholera treatment centre (CTC) in Sana’a, where the mortality rate is around 0.2%. However, as the video shows, there are many factors caused by the conflict that make it difficult for Yemenis to access healthcare.