World, Middle East

Yemen officials raise alarm over dengue fever outbreak

A mosquito-borne tropical disease, dengue fever killed 42 Yemenis in 2016

20.07.2018
Yemen officials raise alarm over dengue fever outbreak File photo

By Ali Oweida

MAARIB, Yemen 

At least 132 suspected cases of dengue fever have been reported in Yemen’s eastern Maarib province in recent weeks, according to the Yemeni Health Ministry.

In a statement released late Thursday, the ministry’s office in Maarib called on government agencies and international organizations to intervene swiftly to help local authorities cope with the disease.

In addition to dengue fever, it also warned of the potential spread of other diseases, such as measles, cholera and diphtheria.

The office went on to lament what it described as a “chronic lack of resources caused by Yemen’s exceptional political and security situation”.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 42 people in Yemen died of dengue fever -- a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus -- during a previous outbreak in 2016.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

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