2ND LEAD (ADDS PHOTOS)
69 percent kids malnourished: Vanni health officials
[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 April 2009, 02:52 GMT]
Four years ago, there were only 2 percent of children below 5 years of age, malnourished in Vanni. But, today, 69 percent of them are malnourished, said health officials of Mullaiththeevu working in the so-called safety zone. Mothers are unable to breastfeed due to malnutrition. Presently, only one-month-old babies are given with milk powder due to lack of supplies. No milk powder is available in the market. Older babies have to satisfy themselves with black tea. There are unattended babies whose mothers have been killed. Recently, a baby was brought to the hospital by relatives, because it was given rice to eat and the baby couldn't handle it, the health officials reported further.
A mother with her child, severely affected by malnutrition
The food and health condition reported as on Friday follows:
Older people are getting just bare minimum food to prevent starvation deaths.
For the last two months, they have not seen vegetables and eat only rice / piddu with dahl. The Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) is providing gruel (Kagnchi), made of rice and leaves.
When the food requirement is 5,000 MT per month, only 1,000 MT were received last month.
Talking on health conditions, many are suffering from diarrhoea and it has not spared even the doctors.
As it is raining heavily, rainwater, temporary toilets and wells are adding to health problems.
The effect of malnutrition
A father holding his malnutrition affected child