Tackling child malnutrition

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Over 5,000 children have received emergency feeding and treatment for malnutrition in Yemen, through Islamic Relief’s comprehensive response to the country’s food crisis.

In Yemen, food security is an extreme problem, with around ten million Yemenis – over 40 per cent of the population – food insecure, and more than one in ten children acutely malnourished, according to the latest World Food Programme (WFP) figures.

Islamic Relief’s response to this nutrition crisis has been supported by funding from UNOCHA, WFP and UNICEF, enabling us to deliver the Emergency Nutrition Response Programme in Hydan, Saqayn and Kitaf districts.

Treatment for Jubrail

This 11 month project has seen the establishment of three new outpatient therapeutic programme sites, the rehabilitation and support of over 17 existing sites, and 17 new targeted supplementary feeding programme units. We equipped sites with essential supplies and trained 94 health workers and community health volunteers to treat acute malnutrition.

Amongst those to benefit was nine-month old Jubrail. Along with his parents and sibling, he lives with a further 15 relatives in Upper Thuaib. The family were forced to flee here after their home town, Alhalmeed, was destroyed during conflict in 2011.

To make ends meet, the parents grow corn and coffee to sell at the local market, but this income is not enough to feed the whole family.

Weighing only 3.8kg, Jubrail was admitted to Alor Health Unit, a centre supported by Islamic Relief Yemen. Jubrail visited the centre eight times on the outpatient therapeutic programme, and a further four times on the supplementary feeding programme. His treatment caused him to almost double his weight, gaining 3.2kg, fully recovering from malnutrition.

“I thought my child was going to die,” said his mother. “I prayed every day. I came each time for treatment and have seen results.

“We are very thankful for Islamic Relief for providing such free services to save lives and bring positive change in the lives of my child and family”.

Islamic Relief also worked with communities to create awareness and educate people on nutrition, health, hygiene and sanitation, providing training on aspects such as village level screening and active case finding.

In total, 5,010 children have been treated for malnutrition. The project, which completed in December 2014, is amongst a range of emergency and development schemes delivered by Islamic Relief in Yemen.