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Feature: A baby saved from danger to die for malnutrition in Kenya refugee camp

08-08-2011 18:53 BJT Special Report:Drought, famine plague horn of Africa |

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East Africa is experiencing the worst famine in a generation. The World Food Program estimates that 11.5 million people in the area urgently need food aid and medical supplies and a total of 13 million have been affected by drought and food shortages. Despite the cruel numbers, David Keyton finds out that there is still hope on the horizon.

Crying for help.

Only ten days ago, Minhaj Gedi Farah was too weak to cry, and photos of his
twig-like arms and hollow cheeks made him the frail face of the worst famine in
60 years.

Only ten days ago, Minhaj Gedi Farah was too weak to cry, and photos of his twig-like arms and hollow cheeks made him the frail face of the worst famine in 60 years.

Now doctors say the severely malnourished 7-month-old appears out of danger of joining more than 29,000 children who already died in the famine.

Dr. John Kiogora (L), International Rescue Committee

Dr. John Kiogora, International Rescue Committee said "I am very happy, and am very joyful. This is the best thing I have done to this child to make sure at least I have saved his life."

But it's a rare success story for families at the Dadaab Camp in Kenya, the world's largest refugee camp, a place where a father must bury two of his daughters one day, and their brother the next.

Muhumed Surow's family was one of them. On Saturday, Surow sobbed as he buried his one-year-old daughter Liin. She died overnight from malnourishment.

Hamaro Mohamed, Liin's Mother said "I'm pained and saddened by the loss of my girl. I can't do anything about it."

Around 1,300 refugees arrive in Dadaab each day from Somalia. Some families made unthinkable decisions about which children to take with them, and which to leave for dead, so that the entire family did not perish.

Facing such dire situation, some are reaching out.

A group of Turkish volunteers have come to Dadaab. They have distributed food and clothes to approximately 1,600 families at the camp.

Ismail Hakki, Turkish Volunteer said "Our mission is to provide food rations and meat to as many refugees as we can."

Minhaj Gedi Farah now weighs nearly 4 kilograms, still well below what he should for his age, but a major improvement from just above 3 kilograms when he first arrived.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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