BAJURA: Scarcity of food and poverty are seen as leading contributors of malnutrition in children and women in Bajura district. Children are deprived of a nutritious diet as the family struggles to manage two-square meals a day.

Samita Rokaya, a local resident of Himali Rural Municipality-3 of Bajura has four children. She has to work in a field from early morning to late in the evening. Parents like her are compelled to leave their children at home who feed only on chapati and stale rice throughout the day, causing malnutrition in children, said Rokaya.

Poverty is considered as the prime cause of deep-rooted malnutrition among children in Bajura, Bajhang, Humla, Mugu, Kalikot, among other districts.

According to a staff nurse stationed at Kolti Primary Health Centre, Ganga Khatri, malnutrition in children will not cease to exist in the geographically remote Seti and Karnali regions unless problems regarding food scarcity and fooding habits are taken into account.

People rely on government-subsidised rice and grams and feed the same to their children as a daily diet, which does not fulfil their nutritional requirement and has made the malnutrition rate go higher, Khatri added.

Same goes for pregnant women and new mothers who do not get sufficient food, worsening the case, and putting their health at risk along with their children's, informed Devilal Sunar, an auxiliary health worker at Maila Health Post, Humla.

Moreover, drought which is common in these areas also causes food scarcity contributing to malnutrition, said health workers of the region.

(Translated by Nishant Pokhrel)