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UNICEF scales up its health and nutrition interventions for vulnerable children in Yemen

UNICEF Yemen/2017/Rasheed
© UNICEF Yemen/2017/Rasheed
“Omer, 13 months, is coming from a displaced family from Taiz. He is a SAM case under treatment in this OTP center. He is getting better every day. This is a real reward for me to see all these children coming back to life.” says Ghalya Mohammed.

By Ansar Rasheed, Communication for Development Officer, UNICEF Aden Field Office, Yemen

Yemen, 10 July 2017 – Over the past six months, the humanitarian situation in Yemen has substantially deteriorated. The number of people in need of assistance and protection is now 20.7 million. Since April, an acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) / suspected cholera outbreak spread at an alarming speed and in just two months the number of cases went up to over 246,000, including 1,517 related deaths. The food insecurity and nutrition crisis is also worsening. In fact, AWD and malnutrition are highly related, and malnourished children – currently 1.8 million - with extremely weak immune systems, are at risk for developing cholera. Furthermore, malnutrition makes early diagnose and treatment even more challenging.

Together with its partners, including with the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), UNICEF continues to scale up its health and nutrition interventions. Between January and June, through the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme, more than 800,000 children were screened for acute malnutrition and 80,000 treated for severe acute malnutrition (SAM). In addition, 4.5 million children received micronutrient supplementation, and 160,000 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) received infant and young child feeding counselling.

UNICEF Yemen/2017/Rasheed
© UNICEF Yemen/2017/Rasheed
Ghalya during a counselling session with Saber and his mother. Saber is 4 years old. He suffered from SAM when he was younger but he fully recovered and is now coming regularly to the OTP for follow up visits.

In Aden, Lahj and Abyan governorates, in southern Yemen, UNICEF, with the contribution of ECHO, is supporting Outpatient Therapeutic Feeding centers with provision of nutrition supplies and capacity building of the health workers, as well as with integrated health and nutrition outreach activities and mobile teams, in hard-to-reach locations and where there is a high number of displaced people. 

 

 
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