Yemen Ten

 

In the villages of Yemen – it’s the children who suffer most.

Wherever you go you can see the human cost of this war.

7 month old Fatima is weak and severely malnourished.

She is one of hundreds in this area alone.

Her mother, Sara, tells me she won’t stop crying.

<<Upsound>>

“It breaks my heart” she says.

The only thing Sara can offer her child is water.

She is so malnourished herself that she is unable to breastfeed.

<<Village pix>>

Doctor Ashwaq Muharram took me from village to village, each time we saw the same thing…

Yemen has always been desperately poor but the war has made things worst.

<< Ashwaq Muharram pix>>

With Frequent airstrikes it’s too dangerous for people to leave this area.

They rely upon people like Ashwaq and the little aid she can deliver.

Today she’s here to visit another child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

<< Abdul rahman>>

Abdul rahman is an 18 month old but weighs as much as a 6 month old baby.

Born one month after the start of the war, he has been malnourished all his life, so he can’t even walk or talk.

Lactose intolerant, Abdulrahman can’t digest normal milk.

Before the war the milk he needs was widely available, but his condition is now life threatening.  

<<Hospital>>

It is not just the villages that are struggling.

This war has forced 600 hospitals to close down and the lack of supplies has pushed this central hospital to the brink.  

Children are the most affected by malnutrition. Here hunger has left one and a half million children starving.

<<SHUAIB>>

This is four year old Shuaib, his grandfather brought him here with fever and diarrhoea.

Malnutrition has meant his immune system is unable to fight a simple infection, and severe shortage of medicine means the antibiotic he needs is not available either.

<<Doctor SOT>>
“The antibiotics we have will not treat the type of bacteria that he is suffering from. All we can do is provide healthcare with the supplies that we have.”

The hospital is overwhelmed with children, but in some cases malnutrition has turned into outright starvation.

 Salim is 8 years old.

Once able to play and talk to his brothers and sisters, his mother says ‘although he is alive, it’s as if he is no longer here’

<<Doctor SOT>>

“I never imagined I would ever see a child like this in Yemen. This boy is starving; it scares me that it may be the beginning of a famine.”

According to UN figures there are now 370,000 children with the same level of malnutrition as Saleem.

Four year olds Shuaib’s grandfather tells us his condition has taken a turn for the worse.

PTC
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PTC 08:25

“He just had fever and diarrhoea, and because they didn’t have his medicine he passed away”

                Back in the village, ((Ashwaq has ))there’s some good news.

RW: After 6 days of phone calls and negotiations, Ashwaq managed to import his lifesaving milk.

Sync

Poverty has always affected Yemen, but now there’s a risk of losing an entire generation.

We asked the Saudi government to respond but….

You can watch more on this story on Our World this weekend on the News Channel or on the i-player.

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