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Yemen: A Community Volunteer Saving Lives

A member of IMC staff in Yemen holds Anisa, 11 months, who has recovered from malnutrition. Photo: IMC.
A member of IMC staff in Yemen holds Anisa, 11 months, who has recovered from malnutrition. Photo: IMC.

The conflict in Yemen is now in its third year, causing a humanitarian crisis which affects almost 20 million people. Millions of children suffer from malnutrition and access to health facilities is becoming increasingly difficult. Twenty-year-old Randa could not sit by and do nothing, “So many people, especially children, have been affected by this conflict. I felt so frustrated – I knew I had to do something.”

Daniel Nyabera Food Security and Livelihoods Coordinator, International Medical Corps in Yemen

By Daniel Nyabera, Food Security and Livelihoods Coordinator, International Medical Corps in Yemen.

Originally from Al-Milah District in Yemen, Randa joined International Medical Corps as a community volunteer, supporting nutrition and health programmes funded by the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.  These programmes help bridge the gaps in access to public health service provision in Lahj Governorate, southern Yemen.

I wanted to help my people, especially malnourished children and pregnant women," she says. “Working for International Medical Corps as a community volunteer gave me the opportunity to support those most in need.

During one of her routine household visits, Randa met Anisa, an 11-month-old girl who looked small and sickly. Her mother told Randa that she was worried that Anisa was not growing like the other children her age.

Anisa had been introduced to artificial milk when she was only two months old; this meant that her immunity was very low and she frequently suffered from fevers. Anisa’s father could not afford the frequent travel to the large port city of Aden in search of medical attention for his daughter.

 IMC.

Randa (left) with Anisa and her father. Photo: IMC.

Immediately realising that Anisa was malnourished, Randa referred her to International Medical Corps’ health teams who could provide her with the urgent medical attention she needed. Her mother also received support with the right breastfeeding practices and important nutrition information so that she could keep Anisa and her other children healthy.

Anisa is just one of many children who would not have lived past her first birthday without the support of volunteers like Randa,” says Dr. Mohammed Salam, who works with International Medical Corps in Yemen’s Al-Milah District.

Nine months later Anisa made a full recovery and has a healthy weight for a baby of her age, and to the delight of her worried mother, Anisa muttered for the first time ever the words “mama.

Last updated
29/03/2017