By Wafa A.Alkhazzan
Yemen has an alarmingly high malnutrition rate which affects 30% of Yemeni children under the age of five, due to large-scale displacement, civil war, political instability, high food prices, endemic poverty, and large influxes of refugees and migrants.
Almost 750, 000 children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition in Yemen, and half a million of those are risking death. There are 69, 000 Yemeni children who die in childbirth every year, and even more suffer from being underweight and also diseases like rickets.
Dr. Enas Abdullah says that the problem is even worse because there aren’t accurate statistics for malnutrition cases, and Yemenis have suffered from the problem for decades, especially given the dangerous political situation in the country.
She says that the primary causes are insufficient breastfeeding, poverty, qat chewing and low education, and also a severe lack of food. The Yemeni government has tried to solve malnutrition in Yemen, through the Director-General of the Office of Health and Population in Hodeidah, Dr. Abdul Rahman Jarallah.
Jarallah works with a delegation of UNICEF headed by representative Jeremy Hopkins, who checks the level of medical services provided by the Center Directorate of Zabid, and also treats malnutrition in children in the Directorate of Altahitah and Ras Aljabl.
Jarallah says that there has been significant improvement in the governorate since the collaborate efforts began, which are currently treating more than 79% of malnourished children. He is optimistic about future success and the announcement of field survey results on the matter.