Imagine a world far removed from the luxuries you are accustomed to; a world in which people can’t snap their fingers and bring to life, their desires. We, who complain when the public transport isn’t efficient. We, who call for the higher authority when restaurants don’t deliver food on time. How would we cope with streets that reek of sewage, untreated water and poor healthcare system? Unimaginable, isn’t it? Well, that’s the plight of people in Yemen.
Cholera is a disease brought on by the consumption of contaminated food and water. It affects the small intestine and causes severe dehydration and diarrhea. The cholera epidemic struck Yemen in October 2016 and even though it was strenuous for families all over this West Asian country, it receded by March 2017. Now, once again, it has reared its ugly head and June 2017 has been witness to crippling cases of death and disease in the capital city, Sana’a. Yemen’s war with Saudi Arabia has eroded its resources to such an extent that people are left hapless with a dysfunctional sewer system. The contaminated water could be battled with the right kind of processing, medication and ample access to clean water. But they are deprived of that too.
An article published on Wikipedia accounts for over 1600 Yemenis who have died since April with 5000 cases of cholera patients being identified daily! That is over 260,000 people who have been victims of cholera since October 2016. Apparently 41% of the cases comprise of children under the age of 15 and those over the age of 60 make up 33% of the deaths. Many people who have cholera happen to live in remote parts of Yemen, where they would not have access to medical assistance.
Travelling to other regions becomes a hassle when tied down with the extreme state of mind that accompanies cholera. Clinics and hospitals don’t have enough provisions to take care of all the people who are falling sick. People rely on solar power and generators for electricity. And with meager means, these luxuries are also beginning to slip out of their grasp. All of this further increases their illness, plunging innocent children and elderly folks into a pit of misery.
It is the fighting spirit of the Yemenis that is keeping them going. But for how long should they suffer? For how long should they have to do without the most basic amenities? Undoubtedly, they are receiving help. It is just not enough. Saudi Arabia donated $66 million to help Yemen with this epidemic. Several campaigns have been set up and volunteer workers are trying to assist in different facets like spreading awareness, gathering external help, working at treatment centers etc. Partners of the World Health Organization are supposedly going to set up treatment camps across Yemen at 600 locations.
They would be providing more than 2300 beds so as to cure people with oral rehydration and save them the trouble of travelling far to attain healthcare. But it is our responsibility, as a global unit, to lend a hand, in whichever way possible. No single gesture is too less. Participate to make Yemen a secure place, once again. Let our fellow humans enjoy the same perks that we do.