Without Using Weapons Yemen War Is Killing Thousands of Children
Yussuf Adel, who is just three-years old, was able to escape the violent fighting in Yemen’s civil war. Even though he along with his mother was able to make his way to the southern city of Aden; still, he is not out of danger. Well, he is suffering from diphtheria as he didn’t get the necessary vaccinations. The reason is not because his mother was not able to afford it, but simply because he was required to hide from the bombs and bullets during the crucial time.
In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, diphtheria was brought under control through the introduction of vaccines. Before that it was known for killing children. It is a infectious disease that forms a layer of dead cells in the nose and throat; thereby, blocking the airway.
Yemen being a conflict zone is a breeding ground for diphtheria as access to medical care is very poor. Also, vaccination rate is low. Usually, diphtheria vaccination is given to infants just when they are two months old. So when Yussuf was residing in the home town of Hodeida, which was at war, she was afraid to take her son out for getting the vaccination shots. Now, after coming to Aden, she told that her son can get the required medical assistance.
Yussuf might be lucky. However, medical professionals working in Aden told that many children suffering from diphtheria couldn’t survive. Medical professionals stated that the disease diphtheria is a complicated one. Charles Gaudry, head of Doctors Without program in Yemen stated that on global level drugs are not available and a lot of the expertise for treating and validating the diagnosis with lab tests is very complicated in Yemen.
He added that the situation in Yemen was bad before and presently it has gone worse. With lack of proper medical facilities in Yemen, mortality among children in increasing