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An Overview on Acute Malnutrition and Food Insecurity among Children during the Conflict in Yemen

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Modern Social Association (MSA), Aden, Yemen
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Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, Hospital University, Heidelberg 69115, Germany
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World Health Organization (WHO), P.O. Box 543, Sana’a, Yemen
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World Health Organization, EMRO, P.O. Box 7608, Nasr City, Cairo 11371, Egypt
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2019, 6(6), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6060077
Received: 11 May 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
Background: This study aims to describe malnutrition among children under five and to describe the food insecurity status during the current conflict in Yemen. Methods: Data were obtained from a Yemeni nutrition surveillance program (pilot phase) targeting 4142 households with 5276 children under five from two governorates (Ibb and Sana’a). Results: Global acute malnutrition was found in 13.3% of overall screened children, while 4.9% had severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 8.4% had moderate acute malnutrition. One-fifth of the children under six months of age were acutely malnourished, followed by children under two years at 18.5% based on weight-for-height z scores. Significant associations between malnutrition and other diseases included suspected measles at three times higher rates (4.5%, p < 0.00) among SAM cases than other children. Diarrhea, fever, and cough were significantly higher among the SAM group (p < 0.05). Most households depended on market food purchases in the month preceding this survey (84.7%). Household coping mechanisms to secure daily meals included borrowing food to survive, changing types and quality of food, and decreasing the number of meals per day; some families sent their children to live with relatives. Conclusion: Malnutrition is a serious public health problem. The humanitarian community needs to adopt alternative strategies to improve food security and the nutrition status in Yemen. View Full-Text
Keywords: malnutrition; food insecurity; infection; Yemen malnutrition; food insecurity; infection; Yemen
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Dureab, F.; Al-Falahi, E.; Ismail, O.; Al-Marhali, L.; Al Jawaldeh, A.; Nuri, N.N.; Safary, E.; Jahn, A. An Overview on Acute Malnutrition and Food Insecurity among Children during the Conflict in Yemen. Children 2019, 6, 77.

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