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Deal of Century


About The Yemeni Cholera Medic Who Died Of the Disease: No Other Case Has Died Ever Since

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By al-Ahed Correspondent

Sana’a - "Every week dies one cholera case here, but no case has died ever since he [staff member] died," boss of a top cholera pediatrician told al-Ahed, confirming this medic was the last one to die until Thursday noon at al-Sabaeen Hospital.

Cholera, as defined by the World Health Organization, is an acute diarrheal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated.

The global threat is an infection is caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera.

Mohammad Abdul-Mughni, a pediatrician dedicated himself to treat Cholera suspected cases since 2017 who saved hundreds of lives, passed away on March 28 as a result of the same disease that is surging once rapidly in the war-ravaged Yemen.

Head of the cholera treatment center at al-Sabaeen Hospital along with the soldier remember the medic who died as a result of Cholera disease he was treating suspected cases. ( April 4, 2019- al-Ahed)


"He was one of finest 'medic' here," says a soldier, who asked to be anonymous at the gate of Cholera Center of al-Sabaeen Hospital, pointing out he has been working in this center just one week before the pediatrician died.

Hospital staff and UN groups working in Yemen grieved his tragic death. The International Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC], on its official Twitter account, expressed sadness over losing this "veteran pediatrician", as labeled by former Communication Officer for WHO in Yemen, Sadeq al-Wesabi.

This grieve comes amid increase lack of health staff in a country its public servant have been paid since the outbreak of Cholera in 2016, but sporadically payments from Sana'a and UN groups incentives.

Adel al-Elmani, head of the cholera treatment center at al-Sabaeen Hospital, told al-Ahed -while standing at the courtyard of his center where 5 tents were set to treat patients, with three filled with sleeping infected cases- that he has been working together with Abdul-Mughni for the past three years now.

"Abdul-Mughni refused full 'hospitalization' for five days, with only three sporadic visits for getting solutions as his infection was badly serious; then he died," Abdul-Mughni said, denying his staff died as a result of medical negligence.

MSF said, on March 26, two days before Abdul-Mughni died, it is scaling up its response for new cases of Cholera increase in Amran, Hajjah, Ibb and Taiz governorates, located in the north and central of Yemen.

"Humanitarian assistance, particularly water and sanitation activities, need to be increased to prevent cholera from spreading across the country," MSF wrote on its website.

UN figures consider Cholera as endemic in Yemen after its first breakout in Yemen in 2016.  "The increase in cases [this year] is concerning, as the rainy season – which could aggravate the overall situation – has not even started yet,” said Hassan Boucenine, MSF head of mission in Yemen on his organization website.

A man and his relative cleaning shoes before access to the center according to measures of the center staff at al-Sabaeen Hospital.(al-Ahed - April 4, 2019) 


'Difficult to be treated'

While UN groups say it is usually for cholera to be treated if caught early, as AP cited, but it can kill swiftly by dehydrating its victims through vomiting and severe diarrhea.

Al-Elmani, confirmed to al-Ahed that "Cholera this year is worse than in 2017, the disease now is difficult to be treatable" he said on sideline of speaking at the center courtyard on how the center failed to treat one of his staff.  

Sitting at the courtyard, and while MSF is scaling up its response for new suspected  cases of Cholera in Ibb governorate, at al-Sabaeen Hospital, a 24-year-old father originally from Ibb, living in Sana'a was treating his 3-year-old boy from Cholera at the Cholera Center where Abdul-Mughni used to work.

Essam Zayed, the 24-year-old was sitting with his 3-year-old, Assem, at his lap in the gate of one of courtyard tent. This tent is a few steps from the entrance of the center building, where Abdul-Mughni's image taped at its gate; but there was no room for Assem inside it as the rooms inside are booked just for cholera-positive cases.

The father who treats his 3-year-old Assem, at al-Sabaeen Hospital in Sana'a (al-Ahed - April4, 2019)


Medics at the center were busy treating suspected cases. Assem was sleeping as the inserted drip into his arm and the hanging bag of life-saving fluids was ongoing.

Medics then, demanded al-Ahed reporter to show his accreditations, making hard to inquire more information about this father. 

Assem was among 215 cholera suspected cases that have been admitted to the cholera treatment center at Al Sabaeen between early morning hours to before we left that center Thursday at noon. 

"Among them children, women, and elderly men," al-Elmani confirmed to our website.

Back in March, MSF said that its health facilities in four provinces have admitted 7,938 suspected cholera cases between January 1st and March 26th this year, 50% of them coming from Assem's Ibb governorate, in the country’s southwest.

"Over this period, the number of cholera patients treated by MSF increased from 140 to 2,000 per week," MSF said