Health Ministry: 231 Yemenis died of measles and rubella in 2018
SANA’A – According to a report by the Ministry of Public Health and Population that was revealed on Sunday, a total of at the very least 231 Yemeni citizens have died of the preventable disease measles in the year 2018, due to the lack of vaccinations and proper healthcare that are resulting from the Saudi-led invasion and blockade of the country.
“More than twice that number have died in their homes because they could not go to hospitals and health facilities for treatment,” ministry spokesman Youssef al-Hadheri told newspaper al-Araby al-Jadeed, indicating that the total amounts of people who had contracted the measles or rubella virus in 2018 was as high as 15,361.
Aden province, which is under military occupation by the Saudi-led coalition, ranks highest in reported measles casualties, followed by the provinces of Saada, Lahj and Shabwah.
Measles and rubella are serious viral diseases, which are transmitted by infection. Symptoms include high fever and skin rash, pneumonia and severe diarrhea leading to chronic dryness. In some cases, especially with children, it can result in death.
In the interview, al-Hadheri blamed the spread of the preventable epidemic on the collapse of the Yemeni healthcare system due to the war. However, the Yemeni health authorities in Sana’a are scheduled to cooperate with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in order to implement a national immunization campaign that will start on February 6 and intends to vaccinate every child between the age of 6 months and 15 years.
Both measles and rubella can be easily rooted out by vaccination of children, needing only a shot at the age of 9 months and one at 18 months in order to be efficiently prevented.
Yemen has been suffering tremendously under the Saudi-led invasion, bombing raids and illegal blockade, leading to more than half of all health facilities in the country to be non-operational.