War's silent killer - Death by malnutrition in CAR
Three years of conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) has forced over one million people from their homes and left two and a half million struggling to meet their basic needs. But it has also led to a less visible deadly outcome: the number of young children dying from malnutrition has risen since the conflict began and the number of people going hungry has doubled, according to recent assessments.
At Gordil health centre in the remote Vakaga region in the north-east, mothers wait in the sweltering heat for their babies to be screened for malnutrition. Rakia Ahamath, 36, sits quietly while she tries to breastfeed tiny Abdul, the youngest of her seven children. But the six-month-old boy cradled in Rakia’s thin arms gets no nourishment from his mother. “I had not much to eat and so I had no more milk. We have been unable to be self-sufficient for the past years. It’s a big problem,” said Rakia.
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