Malnutrition rampant among Karnali kids

Karnali, January 12

Five-year-old Pawan Nepali died of malnutrition at Photu VDC in Mugu one-and-a-half months ago. The VDC is two days’ walking distance from the district headquarters Gamgadhi.

Fourteen-month-old Sushila Yogi of Sipakhana VDC, Kalikot also had died of malnutrition a month ago.

Sita BK, a local of Dhaulagoha VDC, Kalikot, found out that her 19-month-old son was malnourished only after she took him to the local health post for check-up.

Seven-month-old Aankhe refused to breast-feed, suffered from diarrhoea, and cried all the time for four months. Aankhe’s parents did not realise that he was acutely malnourished until they took him to the district hospital.

Various surveys carried out in the VDCs of Karnali district show that most children suffer from varying degrees of malnutrition.

Information Officer at District Health Office, Humla, Naresh Babu Shrestha said it was a great challenge to attain the government’s aim of eliminating malnutrition in the district. Although different government and non-government organisations have launched various awareness campaigns to reduce malnutrition, their success has been minimal.

Kalikot district reportedly has the most number of malnourished children. A staff at District Health Office, Kalikot, Katak Mahat said that around 55 per cent of children in the district are malnourished. He said that of the 5,454 children who were tested, 3,026 were found to be malnourished. Data at the District Health Office showed the around six per cent children die of malnutrition every year.

In Mugu, 1,015 of 2,609 tested children were found to be malnourished.

According to a screening test carried out for malnutrition in six VDCs by the District Health Office Jumla, 48.79 per cent children were malnourished.

Acting Chief Dr Baidhya Nath Jha said that some children were severely malnourished.