Yemeni Boy Bites His Own Hand Out of Severe Hunger

Four-year-old Meshal gnawed his own hand due to severe hunger, leaving his fingers wounded.

Meshal’s constant gnawing on his fingers causes visible wounds. (Doc. Vice)

ACTNews, YEMEN – Four-year-old Meshal was carried by his mother in a makeshift clinic in North Yemen. His malnutrition had made him very skinny with his bones bulging. On his fingers, there were wounds caused by his constant chewing.

Meshal’s mother Mariam Hadadi said her baby often bit his own hands because he was too hungry. "He gnaws on it until it bleeds. He eats it out of hunger until it bleeds. I see blood in his teeth and mouth,” Mariam told VICE.

It was devastating for Mariam. She was helpless because she had nothing to sate her child’s hunger. With no money to buy food, she depends on international aid to survive.

Unluckily, she often doesn’t receive enough food for her and her child. Providing good food for her child is extremely difficult.

According to the UN’s report in August 2021, one child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen. Of the 21 million Yemenis experiencing a humanitarian crisis, the UN says 11.3 million of them are children. Around 2.3 million of them are acutely malnourished, and 400,000 children under five years old suffer from severe acute malnutrition.

The report also mentions that five million Yemenis are on the brink of dying from famine and related diseases and ten million people more are right behind them.

“Famine is not just a food problem, it’s a symptom of a much deeper collapse. People are starving not because there is no food, but because they cannot afford it,” warned Martin Griffiths, UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. []