Caring for mothers and their newborn children remained a priority for us; for example, in Abs hospital, where we frequently assisted more than a thousand births every month, and at our mother and child hospital in Taiz Houban. Our teams in Hodeidah saw how the fighting further limited people’s access to care for snakebites and diseases such as malaria and dengue.
The hospital we support in Abs, in Hajjah governorate, witnessed a sustained increase in the number of malnourished children admitted for treatment. Our hospitals in Haydan and Khamir also saw higher than usual seasonal peaks of malnutrition. While it is difficult to know for certain what the causes of the increases were, living costs in Yemen have risen, particularly for food and fuel. Some health care facilities previously supported by international aid organizations have reduced their services, as the funding for the relief effort in Yemen has dried up. As a result, sick children have not received treatment for their illnesses and have gone on to develop malnutrition.
Nevertheless, in the areas where we work, we have not yet seen evidence that a famine is imminent, a situation where large swathes of a population, adults as well as children, are affected, and die from a combination of a lack of food and diseases brought on by this deficiency.