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2011.02.14

* UNICEF battles new humanitarian threat of child malnutrition in Pakistan six months after devastating floods
* Asset Duration: 04 secs
* Shoot City: N/A
* Shoot Country: Pakistan
* Shoot Date: 24 Jan 2011


Compelling evidence that malnutrition begins in the womb. Flood victim Khursheed is in the final stages of labour in a tent.. a birthing attendant at her feet.


SOUNDBITE (Sindhi) Khursheed, Mother
"I've been very weak, there's no food. So where do I get the energy to push?"


Saleem Babbar, who's been diagnosed as malnourished, was born on the day the floods came. His mother has been unable to breast feed. She has brought him to a UNICEF-supported stabilization centre, to try to save his life.


SOUNDBITE (Sindhi) Husna Babbar, Mother
"When my child gets sick, as a mother I feel a pain in my chest. Sometimes he is up sick all night, sneezing, burning with fever, breathing loud and fast. It worries me that his breathing is fast and loud...I don't know why, and I don't know what to do."Rehana is having her arm measured so that the extent of her condition can be assessed and, hopefully, rectified. The tape goes into the red zone, which shows that she is severely malnourished. Rehana is about the size of a normal newborn baby and weighs less than four kilos. But she's six months old. One of
her siblings has already died.


SOUNDBITE (Sindhi) Aziamai, Mother
"My own health isn't good enough. Whatever I eat or drink, I throw up, even if I take a drink of water, I throw up."Malnutrition has always been present in Pakistan, but the true scale of the problem has only surfaced now, because of the floods. A comprehensive survey in flood-affected areas suggests that one in five children is malnourished in Sindh province in the south of the country.


SOUNDBITE (English) Kristen Elsby, UNICEF Pakistan Chief of Communication: "What were seeing now is a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions right now. Millions of children are greatly at risk of malnutrition babies are dying and mothers to be are also greatly at risk of dying during childbirth."


SOUNDBITE (English) Karen Allen, Deputy Representative UNICEF Pakistan:
"I havent seen levels of malnutrition this bad since the worst of the famine in Ethiopia, Darfur and Chad. It's shocking, shockingly bad. It's an underlying problem of extreme poverty and extremely low levels of education and extremely low levels of access to services. And the floods just pushed people over the edge. And it's truly as bad as Ive seen in the worst emergencies in the world."


This little boy, Ayaz, has a chance of survival. He's in a special care unit and his grandmother is feeding him a high nutrition formula which should help him gain weight.He looks like a new born baby. In fact, he's 12 months old. Now that Rehana's condition has

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