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UK Experts Helping Predict Cholera Outbreaks

Cholera is a devastating disease that can easily take hold in areas where people are already struggling to survive. Places that are struggling to cope with war or natural disasters are particularly susceptible.

Now, UK experts are working with a team from the Met Office to predict when and where a cholera outbreak will occur in war-torn Yemen.

Aid experts at the Department for International Development (DIFD) are using the predictions to help aid workers on the ground in Yemen more effectively tackle cholera outbreaks and prevent it spreading further.

They’re also working with NASA and US scientists, harnessing satellite data from the American organisation to help model the spread of the illness. So far they’ve been able to predict outbreaks with 92 per cent accuracy.

Professor Charlotte Watts, DFID chief scientist, commented: “This breakthrough means that we no longer need to wait for cases of cholera to be detected before medical staff can start taking life-saving action.”

UNICEF Yemen representative Meritxell Relaño explained this en\sures they’re prepared with the water storage and medical equipment to stop cholera spreading.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are between 1.3 and 4 million cholera cases reported around the world each year, which result in an estimated 21,000 to 143,000 deaths.

The work in Yemen has prevented any serious cholera outbreak in the country so far this year. For instance, in the last week of June there were 2,597 suspected cases of the disease and three deaths. By contrast, in the same week of 2017 there were 50,825 suspected cases, and 179 deaths.

If you’re looking for second-hand medical equipment to be used by aid organisations, contact us to find out about the products we offer.


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