Facts in EN

Claims questioning health condition of child Yazan Kafarna from Gaza

Accounts on X, formerly twitter, questioned the condition of the severe weight loss Yazan Kfarna is suffering from due to malnutrition as a result of the Israeli imposed siege on the Gaza Strip, referring to his mothers’ condition as okay with no signs as of malnutrition.

Kashif verified the claim and found it to be misleading. The child’s father, who appeared in the video, confirmed to Kashif that the Israeli aggression and blockade on the Gaza Strip played the main role in the deterioration of Yazan’s health, his weight loss and his severe muscle atrophy.

Yazan’s father explained to Kashif that he was in good health before the aggression, noting that he has a rare genetic disease related to the ability of digesting proteins. Accordingly, prior to the aggression Yazan was eating a customized diet free of amino acids, vegetables and fruits to compensate for the shortage of proteins.

However, with the Israeli aggression, Yazan wasn’t able to obtain his medication, and was deprived from his customized food, in addition to the lack of any kind of fruit in the market, which resulted in his health deteriorating and suffering a severe weight loss along with severe muscle atrophy.

Kashif also contacted journalist Hassan Isleh, who posted a video of the child with his father, and confirmed to Kashif that he listened to the testimony of the child’s father and mother of their son being in good health before the aggression and was regularly receiving his treatment.

Dr. Maher Jouda, Head of the Health Department at the Directorate of Education in Northern Gaza, told Kashif that this type of disease is called “phenylketonuria”, which is a genetic disease that affects the gene responsible for digesting amino acids, and therefore patients are provided with a diet free of amino acids.

Dr. Jouda added that the patient depends on fruits and vegetables in large amounts, and when the patient does not take the specified medicines and food he will be subjected to a severe relapse that causes sharp weight loss, yellowing in the skin, in addition to muscle atrophy and mental delay.

Late last year, in a report, UNICEF warned that acute food insecurity puts all children under the age of five in the Gaza Strip – 335,000 children – at risk of acute malnutrition and preventable death.

At least one in four households in the Gaza Strip, more than half a million people, face catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity, the highest level of alert, a report said.

Update: Yazan passed away on 3/4/2024 at 10:56 am

Source of verification
Source of claim

The child’s father Yazan Kafarna

journalist Hassan Isleh

Dr. Maher Jouda

UNICEF

hassan_eslaih 

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