Wednesday November 20, 2019

UN: Cholera Cases in Yemen Increased to 4,60,000

The U.N.'s $4.2 billion humanitarian appeal to help over 20 million Yemenis this year is only 32 percent funded

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cholera
FILE - Women are treated for suspected cholera infection at Al-Sabeen hospital, in Sanaa, Yemen, Mar. 30, 2019. VOA

The U.N. says over 460,000 suspected cholera cases have been recorded in war-battered Yemen so far this year — a sharp rise from the 380,000 cases for all of 2018. U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq says 705 suspected cholera deaths have been recorded since January — a dramatic increase from the 75 deaths in the same period last year.

Haq says the spread of cholera has been accelerated by recent flash flooding, poor maintenance of waste management systems and lack of access to clean water.

ALSO READ: Cutoff of Internet Service at Rakhine, Chin States Creates Difficulty for Civilians who Cannot Access Donors Online to Make Aid Requests

The U.N. and its partners are operating nearly 1,200 cholera treatment facilities across Yemen, but Haq says “funding remains an urgent issue.” The U.N.’s $4.2 billion humanitarian appeal to help over 20 million Yemenis this year is only 32 percent funded. (VOA)

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Toxicity in Air Affects Children’s Brain Development: UNICEF

UNICEF has warned that air pollution affects a child's brain development

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Brain Development
According to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, air pollution toxicity can affect children's brain development. Pixabay

Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore has warned that air pollution toxicity can affect children’s brain development and called for urgent action to deal with the crisis gripping India and South Asia.

“I saw first-hand how children continue to suffer from the dire consequences of air pollution,” Fore, who recently visited India, said on Wednesday.

“The air quality was at a crisis level. You could smell the toxic fog even from behind an air filtration mask,” she added.

Air pollution affects children most severely and its effects continue all their lives because they have smaller lungs, breathe twice as fast as adults and lack immunities, Fore said.

Brain Development
Air pollution damages brain tissue and undermines brain development in babies and young children. Pixabay

She added that it “damages brain tissue and undermines cognitive development in babies and young children, leading to lifelong consequences that can affect their learning outcomes and future potential. There is evidence to suggest that adolescents exposed to higher levels of air pollution are more likely to experience mental health problems”.

“Unicef is calling for urgent action to address this air quality crisis,” affecting 620 million children in South Asia.

Also Read- Snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir to Help Bring Pollution Down in Neighbouring States

Schools were closed in Delhi till Tuesday because of the severe environmental situation caused by post-harvest burning of stubble in neighbouring states.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Sunday touched 625, considered “severe plus” level. (IANS)