Strong mothers go extra mile to keep their children safe

By Zerihun Sewunet

In Ethiopia, below-average rainfall has worsened the situation in the Somali region, already severely affected by protracted drought. Access to water, sanitation and health services critically low and livestock deaths have further reduced communities’ capacity to cope, resulting in food and nutrition insecurity.

When drought strikes women and children suffer the most. Mothers have to travel long distance to find water and food and they often struggle to feed their children. In stories below, we are celebrating strong mothers who go extra mile to keep their children safe and their families together.

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 Kadar Kaydsane is 35 years old and has ten children, five boys and five girls. She has walked for five hours to get to Waaf Dhug temporary settlement site. She knew that there would be water and basic health and nutrition services.
Her husband and four of her ten children are not with her as they are herding the remaining goats. Most of her family’s livestock have died.
Dohobo Mohamed
The mother of 9 children who is 40 years old had three of her children affected by AWD. Her 4 year old boy passed away while two remain in care with Plan C interventions. Her biggest worry remain her two children that are still in care. Her family used to own 400 animals of which only 13 are remaining.
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Mariema Aden is a Waaf Dhuug local and has two children. She has sold all her livestock in order to survive and has no remaining means of livelihood. Her two children go to Waaf Dhuug primary school, one is in grade 6 and one in grade 8.
Deqa Osman
The 35 year old Mother of nine children has a 5 years old son that is doing a follow up due to being affected by malnutrition. Deqa says that the medical intervention her children have received was very effective.
Out of the 150 cattle her family owned, currently only 15 remains out of which most are likely to die. She worries about the future as her family’s livelihood, similarly to most, fully depended on cattle.
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Amren Mualin is 42 years old and has 13 children (12 girls, one boy).
She used to have 400 goats and sheep of which 200 were ready to be exported. 350 of the 400 animals have died as a result of the drought which has lasted for three years.
Seven of her 13 children are with her including her husband and the other six children who are looking after the remaining livestock.
Seafi Khalif
Seafi Khalif, 46, has two children who are both affected by AWD and received plan A and Plan B interventions. The medical intervention was administered to her children in a nearby CTC and they are back home now.
Just like so many others, her family has lost a significant amount of cattle; now only 20 remain out of 150. Her husband stays a few kilometers away from the IDP camp and looks after the remaining livestock.
Saynaba Sahene
Saynaba Sahene, 20,  has three children, including her youngest son who is 18 months old and suffers from acute malnutrition. She says that even though he was previously admitted for medical treatment and was discharged after given care, he currently needs to be readmitted because she was unable to provide him with the nutrition he needs to stay healthy.
She says she stopped breastfeeding her son when he was 6 months old due to health reasons.
Saynaba’s family doesn’t have a lot of cattle. Out of the 14 they have, only one camel has survived. Her husband lives at a different location assisting his father with keeping their livestock safe.

Photo credit: ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2017/Zerihun Sewunet

El Niño Driven Emergency in Ethiopia

In June, The Government declared the failure of the spring Belg rains affecting smallholder famers and pastoralist. In October a Government –led multi-agency Meher assessment was conducted and concluded that the expected harvest was far below expectation due to poor and erratic rains as a result to El Niño. This led to the increase in the number of priority 1 woredas from 142 in August to 186 and the estimated number of people in need of food assistance rose to 10.2 million with and an estimated 400,000 children with severe acute malnutrition.

In response to this, UNICEF has been supporting the Government in scaling up its response to the emergency by increase the number of health facilities capable of treating severe acute malnutrition, at present 14,788 facilities now fully equipped to treat severe acute malnutrition with supplies such as Ready to Use supplementary food and essential medicines.

Currently 291,214 cases of severe acute malnutrition have already been treated with monthly admissions nearly doubling since then beginning of the year from 20,000 new cases in January to 35,000 -40,000 new admission since August-October. 

See below infographics for more.

El Nino Driven Emergency in Ethiopia

A drop to ensure no child is paralysed because of polio – Photo Blog

Rotary International advocates, UNICEF advocates and Rotaracts gathered to participate in the National Polio Immunization campaign at Shinile and Dire Dawa.
Never before in the history of polio have so few children in so few countries contracted the crippling virus – but we cannot rest until the number of cases is zero ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2015/Mersha
Polio vaccination a response of a recent polio outbreak in the Horn of Africa
Over 100 million doses of #polio vaccine procured to respond to the polio outbreak since June 2013 ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Sewunet
A man informs communities about upcoming campaign on Polio vaccination ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2005/Heger
Clinical nurses Ermias Amare (front) and Salah Kedir, traveling on motorcycle between pastoral settlements
Clinical nurses Ermias Amare (front) and Salah Kedir, traveling on motorcycle between pastoral settlements in Tulugulid District, Fafan Zone, Somali Region, to provide polio vaccinations for children five years and younger during the Polio NIDs Campaign, 9 February 2015 ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2015/Getachew
Ayan Hassan and Sahro Ahmed travel long distance to deliver polio vaccination in hard to reach areas
Ayan Hassan and Sahro Ahmed, trained vaccinators, travel long distance to deliver polio vaccination in hard to reach areas in Somali region of Ethiopia. © UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Sewunet
Polio Administration-Hamer district
A child in Hamer, indigionius community in south omo, SNNPR, Ethiopia, recieves polio vaccine during a nation wide campaign in 2005 ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2005/Getachew
NIDs volunteer Haile Dooch administers Polio Vaccine-Hamer District
National Immunisation Day volunteer Haile Dooch vaccinates child against polio in Karo Duss village, Hamer District, during July/August Polio NIDs campaign in 2005. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2005/Getachew
Polio vaccination, a response of a recent polio outbreak in the Horn of Africa.
Barwoqo Hassen, 3 years gets polio vaccination in Shinelle zone, Somali region Ethiopia. Polio vaccination, a response of a recent polio outbreak in the Horn of Africa. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2015/Mersha
Sustaining the Achievements in Polio Eradication in Ethiopia
Dr Kesete Birhane Admasu Minister of Health gives an anti polio drop to a child at Selam Health Centre. Sustaining the Achievements in Polio Eradication in Ethiopia: High level Vaccination Session during the Financing for Development conferince to obtain a better understanding of ongoing routine immunisation efforts to eradicate polio in Ethiopia and advocate for sustained efforts, through a practical demonstration of polio vaccination in Selam Health Center Gulele Sub city, Addis Ababa. Tuesday 14 July 2015. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2015/Ayene
Health and nutrition
A health professional gives an anti-polio drop to a young refugee 24, June 2014 Pagak South Sudanese refugee reception centre Gambella Ethiopia. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2014/Ayene
Mother and Child in their home
A child smiles after receiving an oral drop against polio, in Tigray region, Ethiopia. National Polio Vaccination Campaign 2005. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2005/Heger
Legs of Ayan Yasin Confirmed Wild Polio Virus (WPV-1) case in Degafur rural village
In 1988 UNICEF joined the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and committed to ensure oral polio vaccine would be made available for and reach every child to rid the world of this devastating virus which at the time was paralyzing thousands of children every day ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Sewunet

Happy Fathers Day

Today is Father’s Day, and we want to celebrate the strength of paternal bonds with this selection of beautiful images from our Flickr of fathers spending time with their children.

Model Farmer Wondossen and his son and sister outside their latrine in Romey Village-Amhara Region
Model Farmer Wondossen and his son and sister outside their latrine in Romey Village-Amhara Region ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2012/ Getachew
Father and son at the Derer Ebija Health Post
Father and son at the Derer Ebija Health Post where they have come to get the newly introduced PCV vaccine. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2011/Lemma

 

A young family wade across Shebele river in Gode Town in Somali region of Ethiopia
A young family wade across Shebele river in Gode Town in Somali region of Ethiopia ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2014/Ose
Ali Faraa, 57, walks his daughter Hussini ali Faraa, 8, to Awash city ABEC (Alternative Base Education Center)
Ali Faraa, 57, walks his daughter Hussini ali Faraa, 8, to Awash city ABEC (Alternative Base Education Center) ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2014/Ose

 

Ibro Bekeri Yusef feeds therapeutic milk F75 to his severely malnourished five-year-old daughter Khesna
Ibro Bekeri Yusef feeds therapeutic milk F75 to his severely malnourished five-year-old daughter Khesna ©UNICEF
A child sits on his father’s shoulders as they wait for food at a drought relief centre in the north-eastern town of Bati.
A child sits on his father’s shoulders as they wait for food at a drought relief centre in the north-eastern town of Bati. ©UNICEF