Yemen | News | WHO-supported therapeutic feeding centres in Yemen save lives of acutely malnourished children

WHO-supported therapeutic feeding centres in Yemen save lives of acutely malnourished children

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7-year-old Salim was admitted to a WHO-supported therapeutic feeding centre in Al-Hudaydah governorate in early September suffering from severe malno7-year-old Salim was admitted to a WHO-supported therapeutic feeding centre in Al-Hudaydah governorate in early September suffering from severe malnutrition23 October 2016 – Almost 19 months into the ongoing conflict in Yemen, shortages of food, medicine and other basic commodities are threatening the lives of children and their families and placing millions more people on the brink of starvation. Today, more than 1.5 million children are acutely malnourished and almost 370 000 are severely malnourished.

7-year-old Salim was admitted to a WHO-supported therapeutic feeding centre in Al-Hudaydah governorate in early September suffering from severe malnourishment with other medical complications, including brain atrophy and severe diarrhoea.

"He was poised between life and death when he was first brought to the centre," said Dr Salima Saeed, the medic responsible for Salim's case. “After receiving intensive nutritional treatment for 45 days, Salim is now ready to be discharged. We are proud that we were able to save his live and bring his smile back. It's very touching to see his mother immensely relieved."

Salim is one of more than 500 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition with serious medical complications who have_been treated in WHO-supportSalim is one of more than 500 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition with serious medical complications who have been treated in a WHO-supported centreSalim is one of more than 500 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition with serious medical complications who have been treated in a WHO-supported therapeutic feeding centre in Al-Hudaydah since August 2015. Most children suffering from severe acute malnutrition that come to the centres are suffering from other medical complications such as respiratory infections, skin lesions and organ failure. Due to limited availability of health services around the country, the centre has also received cases from neighbouring governorates, including Hajjah, Al-Mahweet, Raima and Taiz. Since the beginning of the conflict, the number of cases received by this centre alone have increased by more than 70%.

In addition to the centre in Al-Hudaydah, WHO is also supporting 11 other therapeutic feeding centres in Sa'ana, Abyan, Lahj, Aden and Hadramout governorates to treat severely malnourished children with serious medical complications. The staff of these centres are trained by WHO. Medicines and equipment of the centre are also provided by WHO.

Since August 2015, WHO-supported therapeutic feeding centres in Yemen have treated over 2700 children with severe acute malnutrition, providing them with free-of-charge full treatment, milk and medicines, as well as health education for mothers and relatives attending the facility.

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Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 25 235
Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure) 3.9
Primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 1.5
Life expectancy 65.7

Source: Country statistical profiles 2017

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