Udai Faisal: Baby That Starved To Death Tells Tragic Story Of Yemen’s War

A haunting image of 5-month-old Udai Faisal has provided a glimpse into the tragic life of living amidst Yemen’s war. His shriveled and malnourished body shows the impact of starvation brought forth poverty, lack of food sources, and inflated pricing of supplies that are available, all due to the war’s grip on the region. Hoping for a chance at life, Udai’s parents took him to the hospital, where doctors administered antibiotics and intravenous food in an attempt to coerce a healthier state. However, two days later Usai succumbed to malnutrition at his mother’s side, according to the Washington Post.

“His skeletal body broke down under the ravages of malnutrition, his limbs like twigs, his cheeks sunken, his eyes dry. He vomited yellow fluid from his nose and mouth. Then he stopped breathing.”

The haunting image of 5-month-old Usai seemingly peering into the camera, pleading for relief, provides tragic insight into how the population of Yemen is living within the ongoing war. Amidst airstrikes and gunfire, Yemen has been devastated by the wages of war as the social structure deteriorates alongside integral healthcare and educational needs. Over 3,200 civilian individuals have been killed during the war, and nearly 940 of them have been children.

Udai Faisal: Baby That Starved To Death Tells Tragic Story Of Yemen's War
[Photo by AP Photo/Maad al-Zikry]
Udai’s story serves as a reminder to the rest of the world that the Yemen war has a devastating impact on the residents, often resulting in the children and their families falling victim to the attacks.

As a former soldier, Udai’s father receives the equivalent to $201.25 each month to support his family, which includes him, his wife, and nine children, now that Udai has passed away. Supplemental income was obtained performing construction jobs. However, since the war, those jobs have disappeared. According to Metro, food is scarce and prices have inflated to astronomical costs. As a result, the family survives on one meal of yogurt and bread each day, but sometimes treats themselves to a helping of peas.

Udai’s arrival rose the number of children to ten. Bombs dropped nearby, targeting an army base, as his mother went into labor. The attack was so close that shrapnel actually hit their home.

Malnutrition prevented Udai’s mother from making a supply of breast milk for Udai. As a result, she would be forced to search out formula, which was not always available. When formula could not be found, she would feed Udai a mixture of sugar water, hoping it would be enough to keep him alive until proper medical attention could be afforded or adequate food became available. Despite the care they attempted to provide, Udai’s condition would not improve, and his health slowly deteriorated to the point that they knew something had to be done.

Local clinics were too expensive and did not have the necessary supplies to care for Udai’s malnutrition. Panicked and concerned about Udai’s health, his parents were finally able to take him to the al-Sabeen Hospital emergency unit, where it was found that Udai was malnourished and had a chest infection. Upon his chart, the words “unstable” repeated on each day’s line. Doctors had no hope of keeping him alive, so his parents gathered their belongings and took their precious child home.

Two days later, Udai died.

Udai Faisal: Baby That Starved To Death Tells Tragic Story Of Yemen's War
[Photo by AP Photo/Hani Mohammed]
Udai’s grave was placed at the foot of the nearby mountains with other victims of Yemen’s war. His grave a reminder of the devastation the war has on not only the region, but the innocent lives that live there.

As the final stones were placed upon his unmarked grave, his father read the Quran, reciting a final prayer for his son and the country of Yemen.

“On God we depend.”

[Photo by Maad al-Zikry/AP Images]

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