A six months old, is treated at Save the Children’s stabilization center in a Hospital. Dr. Jamac Mohammed Ahmed is treating the infant, where Save the Children has established and maintains a stabilization center for severely malnourished children. Photo Credit: Colin Crowley/Save the Children 2016.

A six months old, Dahir*, is treated at Save the Children’s stabilization center in a Hospital. Dr. Jamac Mohammed Ahmed is treating the infant, where Save the Children has established and maintains a stabilization center for severely malnourished children.

The Desperation of Drought

Dahir’s Hardworking Family is Desperate to Save his Life

Dahir, just 6 months old, was born into one of the worst droughts East Africa has experienced in over half a century. The family from Somaliland has experienced droughts before. But this year is worse than all the others, Dahir’s mother tells us.

"Last year we were okay. My husband had work and was able to make enough money for us to have enough to eat every day,” Weris recalls. “But now we don’t have any food, and I don’t have any milk to give my children.”

Dahir’s father is a metal worker who crafts traditional cooking pots and implements. But the drought has affected food production, so people have less money to spend on goods and services, and the family’s income is greatly reduced. Moreover, food in the markets is scarce and prices have risen dramatically. The situation for Dahir’s family and many others is dire.

Eventually, the family was down to one thin meal of boiled maize a day, with no milk for protein. And Weris, herself malnourished, was unable to breastfeed her baby. “I have nothing left to give him,” Weris said.

Desperate for help, Weris brought Dahir to a Save the Children stabilization center, where we immediately began therapeutic feeding and lifesaving medical care, such as antibiotics and oxygen. The decision to bring Dahir in for treatment saved his life, but Weris still fears for herself and her family.

“I’m feeling demoralized because we have no money to buy food,” Weris laments. “Right now, we fear starvation.”

Thankfully, Dahir’s mother Weris* has somewhere to turn. She was able to access life-saving care for her little boy.

The situation is growing worse by the day. If we don’t act now, many children risk losing their lives. You can help save desperate children like Dahir.

*Names changed to protect identity.

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