Possible collapse of health system in Yemen poses threat to children

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Yemeni children. Photo: UNICEF (file)

Millions of children in conflict-torn Yemen are vulnerable to communicable diseases such measles because of the possible collapse of the health system in the country.

The warning has come from the World Health Organization (WHO) which says that the conflict is threatening to disrupt a vaccination campaign.

The Gulf state continues to be plagued by violence between government forces and Houthi rebels who are attempting to take over the country.

Cathrine Hasselberg has more.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that because of shortages of safe water, there has been an increase in cases of bloody diarrhoea in children below the age of five in Yemen.

The agency adds that there are also cases of malnutrition among children and women in the country and health services are becoming increasingly difficult for people to access.

The Ministry of Health of Yemen has warned of a possible collapse of the health services as health facilities are struggling to function facing increasing shortages of medicines and health supplies.

Tarik Jasarevic is WHO Spokesperson in Geneva.

"Power cuts and fuel shortages threaten to disrupt the vaccine operation, leaving millions of children below the age of five unvaccinated and this, obviously, increases the risk of communicable diseases such as measles, which is prevalent in Yemen but there is a risk, obviously of polio that has been eliminated from Yemen but again the risk can reappear if children are not vaccinated." (20")

WHO said that, as of Friday last week, more than 940 people have reportedly died and over 3,400 injured in Yemen.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations

Duration: 1’10″

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