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Wednesday , 14 November 2018
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Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Yemen

 The prolonged conflict which soon enters its 4th year, has taken its toll on the people of Yemen. The country prior to the war had one of the highest rates of malnutrition globally, and the increased clashes in Hudaydah that has affected the flow of humanitarian aid, food and fuel as well as the near-collapse of the Yemeni Real has taken the buying power from the people of Yemen. So much so, that they cannot even afford to buy basic food items at the local grocery store

• Acute malnutrition affects 1.8 million children under five, while about one-third of the country’s districts face a risk of sliding into famine. 

• The prevalence of chronic malnutrition (stunting growth) in children under 5 is 47%. There is a 44% increase in children aged 6 to 59 months with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) compared to 2016.

• The nutrition response in Yemen involves UN agencies like UNICEF, WFP, FAO and WHO, as well as local health authorities, and nutrition cluster partners from international and local NGOs.

• WHO focuses on the treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition, and is responsible for setting up therapeutic feeding centers. WHO also supports the health sector in general, such as by providing medicines and fuel to keep health centers supplied and functioning.

• WHO has established 51 therapeutic feeding centers (TFCs) in 17 governorates, 27 of them were opened in 2018 to provide life-saving treatment for severely malnourished children with medical complications.

• Current supply of fuel imports through the port of Hudaydah only cover an estimated 50% of national requirements, this fuel is vital to keep hospitals running and these hospitals house the therapeutic feeding centers supported by WHO and its many partners.

• From January to September 2018, more than 7,360 under the age of 5 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) with medical complications received treatment at WHO-supported TFCs.

• WHO has trained 340 health workers on case management of severe acute malnutrition cases.

• Severe acute malnutrition is defined by a very low weight for height, by visible severe wasting, or by the presence of nutritional oedema. Decreasing child mortality and improving maternal health depend heavily on reducing malnutrition, which is responsible, directly or indirectly, for 35% of deaths among children under five.

• Although the median under-five case-fatality rate for severe acute malnutrition typically ranges from 30% to 50%, it can be reduced substantially when physiological and metabolic changes are taken into account. Management of severe acute malnutrition according to WHO guidelines reduced the case-fatality rate by 55% in hospital settings

UN Peacekeeping USG and WHO DG visit DRC

• WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros and head of emergencies Dr Salama are in DRC this week to meet again with teams in the field. They are on mission with the head of UN Peacekeeping USG Jean-Pierre Lacroix.

• They arrived on Monday and will depart on Thursday, after visiting Beni on Wednesday. The goal of the mission is to see if further support can be offered, and to recognize the incredibly hard work of teams in the field.


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