Child malnutrition singled out

National

MALNUTRITION remains a common cause of death among children at the Port Moresby General Hospital, paediatrician Dr Michael Landi says.
Landi told a media forum last week that children died from illnesses such as tuberculosis and diarrhoea but on close analysis, malnutrition was present in all those deaths.
“The number of admissions with malnutrition were not that significant but after the analysis of the deaths, we realised that malnutrition, even though the numbers were less, contributed to a significant number of deaths in those children. Whether they died from TB or diarrhoea, they had malnutrition as a core morbidity,” Landi said.
“It was a challenge on how to treat those children because we basically checked whatever main illness they came in with.”
Landi said in 2014, the United Nations children’s fund (Unicef) assisted doctors and nurses at the hospital with training on malnutrition.
“Since 2014, those of us who have taken part in treating malnutrition have seen a decrease in deaths through malnutrition,” Landi said.
“We are grateful to Unicef for doing that but my job is at the hospital.
“I can’t afford to follow up on the child at home.”
Landi said treated children returned to the hospital because they fell ill again due to the lack of proper water, sanitation and hygiene conditions at their homes.

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