Govt. hospitals lack basic means to fight widespread malnutrition in children

By Sujeewa Thathsara and Pradeep Prasanna Tennakoon

A majority of government hospitals, and health clinics, did not have Thriposha, Multiple Micro Nutrient (MMN) Supplement, or the BP 100 compressed biscuits recommended by WHO for the treatment of malnutrition in children, over six months, Devika Kodituwakku, the President of the Government Midwives’ Association, told The Island yesterday.The campaign to combat malnutrition among children had come to a halt because of this, she said.”These supplements played a big role in ensuring that

our children are not malnourished. There are a lot of poor people in the country,” she said, adding that the number of malnourished children was on the rise.

“Out of 50 children about 20 are underweight now. If this situation persists,for another year or so,we will have a serious problem,” she said.

Damage to physical and cognitive development during the first two years of a child’s life was irreversible, she said.

“Malnutrition also leads to poor school performance, which can result in future income reduction. So, this is a problem that will affect the future of the country,” she said.

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