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Tuesday, 10 March 2015 20:45

Malnutrition hit Nsanje flood camps

Written by  Martin Chiwanda

Flood victims scramble for a pot of food before they received enough food at Bangula in Nsanje - Pic by Francis Mphweya

Nsanje, March 10: High malnutrition levels among under-five children, pregnant and lactating women has hit Nsanje flood victims' camps, Malawi New Agency has learnt.

An assessment done by the Foundation for Active Civic Education (FACE) reveals that most of under five children, pregnant women and lactating mothers are greatly affected by malnutrition due to lack of access to nutritious foods.

A report on the assessment jointly compiled by FACE and Kalemba Health Centre medics, further indicates that 49.3 percent of under-five children and 47.2 percent of pregnant and lactating women at Bangula Camp are malnourished.

FACE Nutrition and Livelihoods Officer Agnes Lapozo described the situation as worrisome attributing it to failure by people in the camps to access foods that meet daily recommended intake as far as nutrition is concerned.

“The assessment which was done from January 23 to March 2 this year shows that most of the under-five children, lactating and pregnant mothers in Nsanje’s flood victims’ camps are malnourished.

“For instance at Bangula camp, out of 101 under five children assessed, five had severe malnutrition, 65 had moderate malnutrition making the total 70.  On the pregnant women, 30 were assessed and 20 were malnourished,” Lapozo explained.

According to Lapozo, the malnourished were immediately referred to health facilities for medical attention on outpatient supplementary feeding.

“We discovered that those affected with the problem were not taking the recommended food diet. People are really given food in the camps however they do not know how to utilize it,” she said.

“There is a need to find solutions quickly so that the situation can be controlled. If the measures are not put in place then, the district will have high levels of stunting,” warned Lapozo.

In Nsanje alone, more than 65,000 people were displaced by the floods and are seeking shelter in 18 camps.



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