From The Daily Star:

The World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting that there are 197 suspected cases of diphtheria in Yemen. 22 people have died from the disease. The blockade on the country is making it difficult for aid agencies to restock vaccines and other necessary medical supplies. According to a WHO spokesman, there are not any Tetanus-Diphtheria vaccines available for anyone over 5 years old, but Yemen needs 8.5 million doses to be the most effective.

A U.N. plane carrying desperately needed aid did manage to land in Sanaa last Saturday, bringing in 1.9 million doses of vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus and other preventable diseases aimed at children under 5, the U.N. children’s agency said.

One thousand doses of the antitoxins used to treat patients already infected with diphtheria meanwhile reached Sanaa on Monday, Lindmeier said, adding that a ship carrying 33 tons of medical supplies and other aid was expected to dock in Hodeidah Friday.

But he warned that the situation was still dire, pointing out that due to “the long delay and closure of access there is a big backlog of material coming in.”

“We have a bottleneck with a lot of material and supplies waiting either in Djibouti or somewhere out there and waiting to be cleared.”

The diphtheria outbreak comes on top of a slew of other problems that together have created the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

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