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Save Yemen Children: The 10kg, 10-yo Adam Just “Dies of Famine”

Save Yemen Children: The 10kg, 10-yo Adam Just “Dies of Famine”
folder_openAsia-Pacific... access_time11 months ago
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Local Editor

Adam closed his eyes forever…

Adam was one of 400,000 children who may still, in not dead yet, be suffering from severe acute malnutrition in a country on the brink of famine.

The 10-year-old boy who weighed only 10kg died of hunger in Yemen.

UNICEF confirmed the young child called Adam had died less than 24 hours after Sky News published an article about his plight.

He had been too weak to get out of his hospital bed by himself when aid workers came to his bedside last week.

They reported that he was crying and found it difficult to breathe, with his tiny chest heaving with the effort.

Lying in hospital in the city of al-Hudaydah before his death, he should have been able to focus on his recovery.

But as fighting in the Yemeni port city continues - with almost 100 airstrikes falling on it this weekend alone - the conflict moves closer and closer to Al Thawra hospital.

UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said the fighting is now "dangerously close" and is "putting the lives of 59 children, including 25 in the intensive care unit, at imminent risk of death".

Heavy bombing and gunfire could be heard from Adam's hospital bed.

Juliette Touma, chief of communications for UNICEF's Middle East and North Africa region, travelled to Yemen between 29 October and 3 November.

She has spent 16 years working in the region but said meeting Adam would never leave her.

"Adam was not able to utter a word," she told Sky News.

"All he did was to cry in pain without tears but making the sound of pain."

Geert Cappelaere, regional director of UNICEF Middle East and North Africa office, also met Adam before the child's death on Saturday.

Paying tribute to the youngster, he said: "Rest in peace Adam.”

"Adam was very sick and he also had severe malnutrition. Al Thawra hospital... where Adam died is now in the line of fire.”

"Adam is one of 400,000 severely malnourished children in Yemen. They - like Adam - might also die, any minute. May his soul rest in peace."

Half of Yemeni children under the age of five are chronically malnourished. Some 30,000 Yemeni children die every year with malnutrition as one of the most important underlying causes.

Locals worry constantly about money and being unable to buy food, Ms. Touma said.

"Poverty is very visible, people are just exhausted," she said.

Civil servants, including doctors and teachers, have not been paid for more than two years and the devaluation of the currency means that despite food being on sale in markets most families cannot afford to buy it.

Adam, who also had a brain condition and shared his ward with other severely malnourished children, was unable to access health care until his family were able to save up to afford the transport to take him there.

News of Adam's death comes as a group of 14 international non-governmental organizations, including Save the Children, Care and Action Against Hungry, signed a joint statement saying "as an urgent priority, civilians and children in particular in and around al-Hudaydah must be protected from the direct and indirect impact of the fighting."

Yemen has become the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team