Psychological impact of Sa’ada war on children [Archives:2008/1211/Local News]

November 27 2008

By: Yemen Times Staff
SANA'A, Nov. 25 ) Post-traumatic stress disorders affect up to 45.5 percent of children in Sa'ada due to the devastating wars that they have experienced during the past four years, according to a study released by SEYAJ, the Organization for Childhood Protection, last Saturday.

Conducted from September to November this year, the study surveyed 1,018 children aged from seven to15 years old, 61.8 percent of whom were boys and 38.2 percent girls. The number of girls was considerably less due to social restrictions.

The study revealed that 38.8 percent of children are living in constant fear, 12.6 percent live in anxiety and 13.5 percent have become anti-social. About 40 percent suffer from violent nightmares, and 60 percent have lost confidence in the future, do not believe in the importance of education and many consider leaving school.

Psychological effects children reportedly suffer from include depression, anxiety and bedwetting, as well as the fear of thunder and bullets being shot at traditional wedding ceremonies which can prompt them to lose consciousness.

The desire to commit violent acts was felt by 21.7 percent of those surveyed.

The study aimed to measure the psychological and behavioral indication of war on children, specifically in conflict areas and the present and future impact on children, their families, environment and education.

This study was only conducted in the directorate of Razeh, considered to be one of the least damaged areas in the province of Sa'ada.

In its conclusion, the study stressed the necessity to accelerate the implementation of psychological and social rehabilitation programs so as to reintegrate children into society in areas of military confrontations.

It also recommended the speedy reconstruction of damaged schools, removing all marks of a war to provide an attractive learning environment for children.

The study warned of the danger of negligence after the war and said that warn social and economical problems will continue to threaten the stability of local communities.

The study could not cover all directorates or refugee camps due to security reasons.