Saba, a chance for survival in Yemen
Every day, children are bearing the brunt of the conflict which broke out four years ago.
Hudaydah, Yemen 22 April 2019 – Nearly two years ago, Saba opened her eyes for the first time. Like any other parents on hearth, hers were hoping to see their little girl growing in a loving and peaceful world, so she could one day become who she wanted to be and make her dreams come true. Except Saba was born in Yemen, where every day, children are bearing the brunt of the conflict which broke out four years ago.
Across the country, 2 million children are suffering from malnutrition, including nearly 360,000 severely malnourished children who, like Saba, could die any minute
The poor health infrastructure and the lack of health workers exacerbate this dire situation, putting children’s lives at risk.
At UNICEF-supported Therapeutic Feeding Center of Al-Zaidiah where Dr. Waleed Ibrahim works, children are being treated for severe acute malnutrition with complications. Dr. Waleed examined Saba when she first arrived at the centre. At 16 months, “she weighed only 5.7kg when children of her age are supposed to weight 8kg", he added.
Saba lives with her parents, three brothers and six sisters. They are all at risk of malnutrition since the family doesn’t have a stable source of income to secure daily meals. “We used to eat bread and drink tea but now we even don’t have bread left,” Ashwaq, Saba’s mother added.
Dr. Walid is the doctor that examined Saba when her mother came to the centre for the first time. said that Saba received treatment in the center. On the third day of her arrival at the center, she began to improve. Diarrhea and fever stooped and the cough reduced.
Saba lives with her parents, three brothers and six sisters. They are all at risk of malnutrition.
“After her recovery, Saba is referred to the outpatient clinic to monitor her weight and give her the appropriate nutrition. If she doesn’t improve, she will be referred again to us for in-patient management,” he added.
"Due to the repeated malnutrition cases within this family, UNICEF has added health educators to the medical teams to raise awareness among mothers about the quality of food, hygiene and family planning through the use of contraceptives in order to raise healthy children", said Dr Waleed.
Ashwaq is happy to see her daughter recovering, but she is still concerned because her other kids back home don’t have anything to eat.
She doesn’t even know whether they are alive or dead. She advises all mothers to pay attention to the nutrition of their children and give them the necessary food to protect them from malnutrition.