SANAA, Sept 25 (NNN-XINHUA) – The protracted war in Yemen not only brings physical suffering to millions of children but also inflicts a kind of pain that last longer – psychological trauma.
“Many children displayed aphasia or other symptoms of PTSD after they went through heavy bombings. They were overwhelmed by horror and fear,” said Suad Al-Haimi, director of the Al-Tahadi Association for the Disabled in the capital, Sanaa.
In the rehabilitation centre, dozens of children were playing. Many of them talked in sign language, while others were shy and tried to avoid eye contact. There are also many children who suffer from dyslexia or even intelligence disabilities because of traumas during the war.
Haimi said, she expanded the healthcare wards to accommodate more children because the longer the war lasted, the more children came for help.
“In comparison to pre-war time, the centre now has many more patients. Every day, a dozen of child victims in the conflict come here to seek help,” said the Yemeni lady.
It would take a lot of work from the health staff at the centre and the children’s families, for the children to recover from their psychological trauma, if that is possible, said Haimi, who highlighted that, the injuries in the hearts are the hardest to heal.
The UN said, four out of five children are in need of humanitarian assistance. For more than eight years, a whole new generation in Yemen has been growing up under the clouds of a ferocious civil war, which brought hunger, poverty, and unchecked diseases to every corner of the country.
“The psychological situation of Yemen’s youngsters is worrying,” said Haimi, adding that, what she and her rehabilitation centre have done is only a drop in a bucket, as there are millions of children who have to deal with the stress caused by the war.
The Al-Tahadi centre is one of the few special rehabilitation centres that are still operating, as the healthcare system in the war-ravaged country collapsed a long time ago.
However, its existence is now in jeopardy, because raising funds is more difficult than ever. In spite of the ongoing truce between the Houthi group and the internationally-recognised government, Yemenis are still wrestling with surging prices, as well as, shortages in food and fuel.
“Not many people care about the psychological health of their children, when they are struggling to bring bread to the table. But the wound in mind can be as painful as any,” said Haimi.– NNN-XINHUA