The struggle for food
Children suffer the most from the current situation in Somalia, with more than 1.4 million of them severely malnourished. Every day, more mothers and their malnourished children come to one of CARE’s 56 health centers seeking help. Often, these are the only place for mothers and pregnant women to go.
The severely malnourished children are usually very weak. They are more susceptible to diseases such as tuberculosis or malaria. The course of the diseases often is severe. Especially in childhood, malnutrition can reduce physical and mental development. The respiratory muscles become weaker, the heart beats less. Many of the malnourished children require immediate emergency care.
Abdirahman is eight months old. When he arrived at one of CARE’s health centres, he weighed 11.5 pounds – at least 6.5 pounds too few for his age and size. His parents are former cattle herders. His father has no work. On days when he finds a day job in construction, the family can eat.
“We eat three or four times a week,” says Hodan Mohammed, 18, Abidrahman’s mother.
At the CARE health centre, Abdirahman receives a special milk that helps him to gain weight. Within three days, he has gained 7 ounces.
Due to the severe drought, not only is there a lack of water and food, but people are also worried about their survival and their prospects.