Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Fall 2020

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences (MCBS)

Program or Major

Biomedical Science: Medical and Veterinary Sciences

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Semra Aytur

Second Advisor

Jeannie Sowers


The largest recorded cholera epidemic in history is happening right now in Yemen, a country which has reported over 2 million cases of cholera as of 2020. Yemen has a history of endemic cholera, but prolonged conflict in the country has led to deteriorating conditions that have triggered massive outbreaks of the disease. The purpose of this study is to investigate the direct and indirect causes of the cholera epidemic in Yemen by proposing factors that may confer vulnerability and resilience in Yemeni governorates. Case studies were constructed for three governorates: Sana’a and the inner municipality of Amanat Al Asimah; Al Hudaydah; and Ma’areb. As part of each inquiry, information about political governance, water and sanitation services, healthcare, nutrition level, displacement, and humanitarian aid is presented, and used to situate 2017-2018 epidemiological data on cholera and 2016-2018 infrastructure destruction data in the context of the conflict. The situation in these three governorates speaks to a larger man-made public health and humanitarian crisis, the result of ongoing political and military conflict for nearly a decade, that has impacted virtually every facet of life, from livelihood and mobility to health, for civilians across Yemen.