WHO / YEMEN DIPHTHERIA OUTBREAK

12-Jan-2018 00:01:47
Diphtheria is making an alarming comeback in Yemen. Abdulrahman is only four years old. On a hospital bed in Sana'a, he is recovering from diphtheria. His father took him to hospital with what he thought was just a sore throat. WHO
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STORY: WHO / YEMEN DIPHTHERIA OUTBREAK
TRT: 01:47
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTION: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / NATS
DATELINE: 12 JANUARY 2018 / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – WHO - SANA’A, YEMEN

1. Various shots, destroyed Sana’a streets

DECEMBER 2017, SANA’A, YEMEN

2. Various shots, Abdulrahman on a hospital bed
3. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdulrahman’s father:
“I took my son Abdulrahman to a private hospital to be treated for sore throat. The doctors told me that they suspect diphtheria and referred us to Al-Sabeen Hospital in Sana’a.They provided my son with treatment. He was taken to a special department that was created for diphtheria. Thank god, the medicines were brought from the Ministry of Health. Now Abdulrahman situation is much better. At first, I was very worried. The first day (of the illness), the night was very difficult. He was breathing with difficulty. His situation was very bad. I was also afraid when we talked to the doctor when he told me that this is an infectious disease outbreak. But when I saw him getting better, I really felt relieved. The fear and the sense that my son is in danger faded away.”
4. Various shots, Abdulrahman on a hospital bed

FILE – WHO - SANA’A, YEMEN

5. Various shots, exteriors of a pharmacy
6. Various shots, inside the pharmacy
7. Wide shot, empty shelves with some medicines
8. Wide shot, plane with WHO medical supplies on the tarmac (not diphtheria medicines)
9. Wide shot, pallets with medical supplies
10. Various shots, boxes with medical supplies
11. Wide shot, exterior of destroyed building
STORYLINE
Diphtheria is making an alarming comeback in Yemen. Abdulrahman is only four years old. On a hospital bed in Sana'a, he is recovering from diphtheria. His father took him to hospital with what he thought was just a sore throat.

Abdulrahman’s father said “I took my son Abdulrahman to a private hospital to be treated for sore throat. The doctors told me that they suspect diphtheria and referred us to Al-Sabeen Hospital in Sana’a.They provided my son with treatment. He was taken to a special department that was created for diphtheria. Thank god, the medicines were brought from the Ministry of Health. Now Abdulrahman situation is much better. At first, I was very worried. The first day (of the illness), the night was very difficult. He was breathing with difficulty. His situation was very bad. I was also afraid when we talked to the doctor when he told me that this is an infectious disease outbreak. But when I saw him getting better, I really felt relieved. The fear and the sense that my son is in danger faded away.”

But Abdulrahman was lucky as his family has acted quickly and had access to health services.

Diphtheria is spreading quickly in Yemen, with more than 610 clinically diagnosed cases and 48 deaths in less than four months, and an alarmingly high case fatality rate of eight per cent. Most cases and deaths have been reported in Ibb and Hodeida but the outbreak is spreading fast, already affecting 19 governorates out of 23.

The country is also facing severe shortages of medicines and life-saving diphtheria anti-toxins (DATS). WHO has delivered US$200,000 worth of antibiotics and 1,000 vials of anti-toxins to affected governorates, and more medicines are under procurement. The DATS can help stop the spread of the bacterium to vital organs in patients already infected with diphtheria.
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