Noura*, 15 months, at Save the Children’s Outpatient Therapeutic Program, in a camp for Internally Displaced People in Yemen, where she receives treatment for Severe Acute Malnutrition.
Yemeni Children Like Noura* Are on the Brink of Starvation
Zahra*, 35, lived in a camp for internally displaced people in Lahj, Yemen, with her husband and six children. They fled from Hodeidah, the fourth largest city in Yemen, due to constant shelling and airstrikes. Their home was damaged due to the conflict and they were forced to flee.
The family arrived at the camp at night, and their daughter Noura*, who was only 14 months old, was unwell with a stomach infection and fever. The next day Zahra* went out in search of a hospital and was connected with the Save the Children mobile health team.
The doctor examined Noura, and referred her to a hospital. Zahra and Noura stayed in the hospital for five days until her condition improved. Noura has had health issues her entire life; at birth, she weighed only two pounds. When she was four months old, she became even more sick, her mother said.
After returning from the hospital, the family’s biggest obstacle in Lahj was finding enough food to feed their family. On most days the eight members of Zahra’s family survived on only one meal. Zahra couldn't breastfeed so they were dependent on formula milk, which they could not afford.
Rising formula prices and Zahra’s inability to find work were a constant challenge. Sometimes her children feel dizzy or exhausted from lack of food.
Noura’s father Saleh also struggled to find work, and his search for employment was made even more difficult due to visual impairment.
“I am a normal worker, I have limited income. Sometimes I find work, sometimes not,” he said. “I have also had a problem with my vision, I cannot see properly.”
Save the Children operates in Lahj governorate south of Yemen through different programs including health, nutrition, child protection, WASH, education and food security. The organization is supporting the most vulnerable people including internally displaced people and host communities. Save the Children work with the Ministry of Health to train emergency staff as well as raising awareness, in addition to providing health workers with incentives, operational costs, medicines and medical supplies. Save the Children strives to deliver quality, life-saving interventions for; children suffering from Moderated Acute Malnutrition (MAM), Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and pregnant or lactating women.
*Names have been changed for protection
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