One kid dies of malnutrition every 10 minutes

Kathmandu, March 19:

Every ten minutes a child dies of ailment related with malnutrition in Nepal and this totals to 50, 000 deaths every year, Child Health Division (CHD) has said.

Dr Yasovardan Pradhan, director at the CHD said malnutrition leads to various diseases leading to children’s deaths so, “Small initiative can make a huge difference in saving the lives of the children,” said Dr Pradhan. “The rate of decrease in child mortality due to malnutrition is 4.6 and with this Nepal can achieve the Millennum Development Goal related with child mortality,” said Dr Pradhan addressing an orientation programme for media professionals on the role of Nutrition for the attainment of Millennium Development Goals. The programme was organised by CHD, UNICEF and Communication Network Nepal.

Sarada Pandey, chief of Nutrition Section, CHD, said the government has introduced new programmes such as breast feeding week and nutrition week with an aim to raise awareness on nutritional aspect.

“Good nutrition is everybody’s fundamental right,” said Pandey. “Poor nutrition causes poor growth and mental development, reduced immune competence leading to death of the children,” said Pandey.

According to Division of Health Policy and Planning, UNICEF, Nepal is among the seven countries that are on track to achieve MDG goals regarding child mortality rate. The under-five mortality rate is 91 per 1000 live births and infant mortality rate is 64 per 1,000 live births.

According to CHD, 5.4 of 10 Nepali children below five years of age is suffering from Protein Energy Malnutrition, 7.8 of 10 suffe from anaemia, while, 3.2 of 10 children suffer from Vitamin A deficiency and 1.4 of 10 children are suffering from Iodine Deficiency Disorders.

Pandey said that an integrated approach is needed to address the malnutrition problem in the country.