When a health facility becomes a lifeline

Providing vital assistance in Yemen’s forgotten crisis

The conflict in Yemen has triggered a widespread humanitarian crisis, with health and nutrition emerging as critical concerns. Among these, malnutrition poses a severe threat to children under the age of five and pregnant or breastfeeding women. The district of Qa’atabah in Al Dhale’e Governorate, situated in the southern region of Yemen, stands as one of the hardest-hit areas.

In this district, Medair supports Lakamat Al Doki Health Center with essential health and nutrition services.

Here, families like that of nine-month-old Randa are grappling with the dire consequences of acute malnutrition, exacerbated by the harsh conditions of the IDP camp they call home. They brought her to the clinic as Randa started losing weight rapidly and became lethargic. Almost overnight, she lost her cheerful nature and within no time, she stopped playing altogether. Her mother did not know what was wrong and watched helplessly as Randa’s condition deteriorated every day.

After examining both Randa and her mother, the midwife at Lakamat Al Doki Health Center concluded that they were both suffering from malnutrition. Rasha agreed to follow up with malnutrition treatment for herself and Randa.

The health and nutrition team at Lakamat Al Doki Health Center counselled Rasha on healthy feeding practices for both her and her baby and prescribe them nutritional supplements. Since the intervention, Randa’s health has gradually improved, and the little one has gained weight.

“I’m an IDP. We left everything behind when we were displaced six years ago from both our land and house. Now we live in hard conditions; our camp is near the front line and sometimes we hear clashes from a distance. But I feel peace when I see that people are here to support us and we are not alone. For me and my child, this health center is a lifeline. I still have to walk a long way to get here, but my child is better now”, said Rasha.


Naseem, an acquaintance of Rasha from the same IDP Camp, also visited Lakamat Al Doki Health Center. Rasha had emphasised to Naseem the importance of vaccinating children, knowledge she had gained from Medair staff. She said, “I have to walk two hours from my home in the mountains to reach the health center in the valley, but it’s not an issue for me, because the most important thing is that my children get the care they need.”

Poverty, economic decline, illiteracy, and security challenges – all lingering effects of prolonged conflict – have merged into a forgotten crisis that has gripped millions of Yemenis. They continue to suffer from the highest rates of chronic malnutrition and poor health worldwide.


Medair services in Yemen are funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Yemen Humanitarian Fund – Yemen OCHA, World Vision, the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA / USAID), and private donors. 

This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organization.