12 June 2017

Somalia: Malnutrition, Disease and Food Insecurity - a Perfect Recipe for Disaster for Somalia's Children

analysis

Since the beginning of the year, outbreaks of cholera and later measles have been spreading across Somalia. The severe and prolonged drought has also caused high malnutrition among children. Unicef estimates that 1.4-million children will suffer from acute malnutrition this year, including 277,000 severe cases. By KUN LI.

With just a roof, this open barn was once used as livestock market for Dolow town. Now enclosed by orange tarpaulin, it has been turned into a makeshift hospital for patients stricken by the latest cholera outbreak.

Inside the quiet, stifling wards, two-year-old Rahma lies on a stretcher. No one has noticed - not even her father sitting right next to her - that she is fighting for her life. Quiet and motionless, she appears to be just taking a nap.

John Ntambi, Unicef Nutrition Specialist, happens to walk in during a planned visit to monitor Unicef's support to the hospital. A doctor by training, he takes one look at Rahma and immediately rushes to her side. One glance was all he needed to see that she is not doing well. But it is already too late.

Rahma's eyes are rolled back. She is losing consciousness fast. Before anything can be done...

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