At least 190 people have died of the disease so far this year and 100,000 more cases of suspected cholera have been reported in Taiz and adjacent cities.
Sanaa — Radheyah Hasan does not know her age or how she got infected with cholera. The only thing she seems to be certain about is that the disease is eating away at her.
“I've been suffering from severe diarrhoea and vomiting for two days and yesterday a neighbour told my sister that there is a disease called cholera which leads to death,” Radheyah told TRT World.
After her sister realised it was cholera that had left her bedridden, she took her to a hospital in Taiz city.
Along the way she heard her driver talk about how several people he knew died of cholera. The stories gave her chills.
Radheyah is recovering, though, and the doctors have assured her that her life is out of danger.
“I feel lucky that I was treated at the right time,” she said. "At the same time I feel so bad about all those people who are dying in their homes for lack of treatment."
Radheyah belongs to a rural area where drinking water is scarce and people struggle to make a living. They walk long distances and fetch water from far off valleys.
“Doctors told me it's possible that I got cholera after drinking contaminated water," she said.
Cholera epidemics have often broke out in Yemen, especially during the summer in the last five years of war, affecting rural areas first and then slowly spreading to urban centres.
Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa, and Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, recently released a joint statement saying that "nearly 109,000 cases of severe Acute Watery Diarrhea and suspected cholera were reported with 190 total associated deaths since January ".
Nearly one-third of the reported cases are children under the age of five. This comes two years after Yemen witnessed the world's largest cholera outbreak when more than one million cases were reported.
“We fear that the number of suspected cholera cases will continue to increase with the early arrival of the rainy season, and as basic services, including lifesaving water systems and networks, have collapsed," the statement added.
Poor or broken sewage disposal systems and the use of contaminated water for agriculture, unreliable electricity to store food and the displacement of families due to war have been some of the major causes of cholera outbreaks in the region.
In Taiz province, out of more than 2,000 suspected cases of cholera, 17 deaths have been recorded since the beginning of March, according to health officials in Taiz province.
New cases of suspected cholera arrive at Taiz city's Republican Hospital almost every day.
Most patients are children and old people. Dirhem Salem is in his late 60s. He came to the treatment center a few hours after showing the symptoms of cholera.
Young people are also vulnerable to catching the disease. Hassan Rashed, 33, is being treated at the hospital for a week.
A resident of Taiz city, Rashed has access to clean water. He is unable to comprehend how he contracted the disease.
The manager of the Taiz health office, Dr Abdul Rahim al Samie, said a huge number of suspected cases and deaths indicate that the disease is likely to swallow other towns and districts and at a scope that's hasn't been seen in the recent past.
“The main reason behind the spread of cholera in Taiz alone is water scarcity, the collapse of health system and poor sanitation,” al Samie said, while speaking to TRT World.