German assistance to contain malnutrition in Trinco district

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 April 2003, 02:59 GMT]
The Integrated Food Security Programme (IFSP) in Trincomalee Monday donated a consignment of forty mother and child-weighing scales to the Department of Health Services to be supplied to the public health midwives in the Trincomalee district to monitor malnutrition prevalent especially amongst women and children less than five years of age, sources said.

German assistance
mother and child being weighed
According to a study, 51 percent of children less than five years and 48 percent of women in the Trincomalee district are malnourished.

The IFSP is sponsored by the Federal German Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development through the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) and the Government of Sri Lanka.

The handing over of weighing scales took place Monday at the office of the Trincomalee Medical Officer of Health. The GTZ team leader Dr.Dedo Geinitz handed over the scales to the Deputy Director of Health Services Dr.Abraham.

Growth monitoring is very important to arrest malnutrition amongst women and children. Mere weighing children and women and keeping the data collected in books would not help the society, Dr.Abraham said.

The GTZ has come to the rescue of the children and women affected by malnutrition by correctly identifying the need at the right time and its timely donation would certainly give a fillip to the growth monitoring of children in the Trincomalee district, Dr.Abraham said.

Provincial Ministry of Health official Dr.E.G.Gnanakunalan made the introductory speech.


German assistance
( L-R ) Dr.Gnanagunalan, Dr.Abraham, Dr.Dedo Geinitz ( showing the bag which contains weighing scale ) and IFSP-GTZ Health and Nutrition Advisor Ms Gabriele Goetz



Public health midwives who attended the handing over event were given training on the proper use of weighing scales. Computers, motorbikes, pin boards and various resource books on nutrition and health were handed over to further improve quality and outreach of health service provision. The entire equipment handed over is amounting to Rs 1,254,789, IFSP officials said.

"Since August 1998 the IFSP Trincomalee supports people who are war affected and face seasonal and structural food and nutrition deficits. Rates of malnutrition in Trincomalee district are unacceptably high. Fifty one percent of children less than five years of age and forty eight percent of women are malnourished. The effects are severe. Malnutrition results into recurrent illness, poor mental and physical development and finally death. If the nutrition situation remains unchanged, investments in human and economic development will not show the intended results," states the news bulletin of the IFSP for the month of April.

The IFSP bulletin further states, "to respond to the multiple causes of malnutrition, single interventions are insufficient. A holistic approach is required. IFSP therefore complements measures to improve availability of and access to food with measures aiming at adequate use and utilization. The health and nutrition component focuses on the provision of knowledge and skills to community members with regard to health behaviour and care. At the same time the provision of health service is strengthened."


German assistance
a section of the public health midwives attended the handing over event and training



Several activities such as behaviour change communication; school feeding programme, water and sanitation, health service provision and co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation are implemented through the Department of Health Services and Eastern Human and Economic Development (EHED), a local non-governmental organization, the bulletin states.

 

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