IOM Combats Cholera Outbreak in Yemen

Yemen - Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) has officially announced eight cholera cases in Sana'a city. Three more confirmed cases of cholera were reported on 9 October 2016, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 11.

IOM Yemen’s health team has drawn up plans to control such an outbreak. It targets migrants in the three main cities (Sana’a, Aden and Hodeidah) where they commonly stranded and where IOM has facilities to provide the most vulnerable with humanitarian assistance, including emergency health care.

Staff responsibilities have been identified. Medicines, medical supplies, and WASH supplies have been procured and are ready to be distributed. Three cholera treatment centers have been set up in the three governorates for the isolation and management of infected cases.

Referral of severe cases to the public hospitals has been arranged with the health authority. An awareness raising plan has been prepared and promotional materials in different languages have been prepared, translated and printed.

During the last few days, surveillance and response efforts have been underway, led by a team from the surveillance programme of the Ministry of Health for early reporting of any suspected cases.

On 13 October 2016, more suspected cases of acute watery diarrhea were reported from other locations in the country, including Lahj and Aden in the South and Hodeidah in the West. Those new cases need be verified through laboratory tests before being confirmed.

MoPHP and partners including IOM through the health and WASH clusters are working to establish the exact scale of the response. If not treated, severe cases of cholera can kill up to 15 percent of people affected in just a few hours. Migrants are particularly vulnerable.

In collaboration with Ministry of Public Health, WHO, UNICEF, and other partners, IOM will take part in controlling the outbreak among the migrants and the local community.

UNOCHA has called for interagency coordination to explore ways to support and amplify UNICEF/WHO efforts to formulate and implement an integrated cholera response plan. IOM has attended similar meetings in Sana’a, Hodeidah and Aden governorates.

During the past week, the IOM health team has started the cholera awareness campaign to teach all non-health IOM staff how to protect themselves and their families from becoming infected.

For more information please contact Laurent De Boeck at IOM Yemen, Email:, Tel. + 967 736 777 915.