Cholera Resurges in Sanaa, Houthi Militias to Blame
September Net – Asharq Al-Awsat
Houthi militias are to blame for the recurrence of cholera in the Yemeni capital and areas falling under their control due to negligence, and their contribution to the destruction of sewage systems in addition to the theft of medical aid, medical sources in Sanaa said.
The sources said more than 15,000 suspected cases of cholera and acute diarrhea have been recorded in Sanaa since the beginning of this year, with more than 4,000 cases being confirmed.
They accused the Houthi insurgents of contributing to the resurgence of the epidemic, which had been eliminated through the help of UN agencies and the international community.
The disease in the past two years had infected about one million people, according to World Health Organization figures.
Cholera has killed at least 12 people since the beginning of this year, causing panic among Sanaa’s three million residents.
Environmental sanitation experts accuse the Houthi militias of destroying sewage networks in Sanaa, leaving main streets submerged with fetid muck, and creating an environment suitable for the spread of the epidemic.
Although health organizations have provided clinics with the necessary medication to treat the cholera patients, Houthis have looted the supplies and sold most of them, medical sources said.
UNICEF has been implementing several projects in Sanaa and other Houthi militias-controlled areas to purify water and distribute chlorine to well owners, water trucks and homes to limit another cholera outbreak.
But a few months ago, Houthi officials stole a huge shipment of chlorine stored at the headquarters of al-Reef Water Corporation in al-Hasbah district and sold it to a trader for about $550.
Many patients receiving treatment in public or private hospitals indicated they had to pay for their medication, although the drugs are said to be provided free of charge by international organizations.