The Saudi King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid and Relief (KSRelief) has launched rapid response efforts to combat and contain cholera in Yemen, initiating a number of activities in this regard.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, adviser to the Royal Court and head of the center, this week signed a project with the World Health Organization (WHO) that will serve all provinces in Yemen.
In a press statement, Al-Rabeeah said the broad programs and activities targeting the outbreak will benefit Yemenis across the country, and comes after the inauguration of a 500-ton convoy carrying medicines and supplies.
He said the program aims to reduce the number of deaths resulting from the cholera outbreak across Yemen by increasing early detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment efforts, as well as enhancing the rapid response and capabilities of the central laboratories at the Ministry of Health and local hospitals.
Al-Rabeeah also confirmed that KSRelief has taken necessary measures to sterilize water, test the water quality, and cleanse water sources, while also training health workers and employees of labs to discover cases and diagnose them.
The center also worked on educating and improving health behaviors and ways to apply cleanliness and food safety measures, as well as distributing necessary medicines and materials to combat cholera in target areas.
“The Kingdom is the first responder to support the UN in Yemen, with $274 million, and was at the forefront of countries supporting Yemen and its people in this humanitarian crisis, as well as in its rapid response to the cholera outbreak,” said Al-Rabeeah.
“We commend and appreciate the partnership with the UN and international, regional and local organizations and look forward to rapid implementation using all available logistical solutions across Yemen to alleviate the suffering of Yemenis and save the lives of thousands,” he continued.
He called on the international humanitarian community and UN organizations to stand by the center in this stage to prevent any attacks by Houthi militias on humanitarian aid going to beneficiaries.
For his part, the head of the WHO’s mission in Yemen Dr. Nivio Zagaria said the support of the center is critical to facing the epidemic in Yemen.
“Your support and the support of others is important to us and what we need to quickly respond to the cholera outbreak, and we agree with your vision of combating cholera as it is an extension of the working partnership with you over a year and half,” he said.
“You are right in your request of the UN to quickly intervene and respond, and not to delay in order to combat cholera in Yemen, and your strong message that we wish to direct to the world is that all Yemenis are in need of the support of the international community. For this we are beside you today to sign this critical project to combat this epidemic,” he said.