The writer Gayle Tzemach Lemmon reports on the complex problem of providing for babies in wartime in “Don’t Make Babies Rely on Breast Milk in War Zones” on CNN.com.
It’s a problem MSF field workers are grappling with as large numbers of malnourished babies arrive at hospitals and clinics around Mosul and other conflict zones. The tiny patients are often brought by mothers stressed or traumatized by trying to survive and keep their children alive in the midst of deadly violence.
While MSF agrees that breastfeeding is best, aid workers on the front lines say there needs to be flexibility in how humanitarian organizations respond to malnutrition, especially in conflict zones. Read the article on CNN.com
MSF has treated more than 300 babies for malnutrition in Qayyara, Iraq, since March, most of them under 6 months old. Many of these sick infants arrived with families fleeing the besieged part of western Mosul. Their mothers have often been unable to breastfeed due to the trauma and living conditions they’ve endured, and in western Mosul there is little access to formula or health care.
Read Iraq: Babies Suffering from Severe Malnutrition in Mosul Region
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