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15.07.2004 Regional News

St. Michael's Hospital to start treatment for malnourished children

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Kokodei (Ash), July 15, GNA - The Saint Michael's Catholic Hospital at Pramso in the Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma District has initiated a programme to identify malnourished children in the Kokodei community and to treat them in their homes.

Dr Sister Rose Fareen, Officer in Charge of Nutrition at the Hospital, who announced this said the initiative followed a survey on malnutrition conducted at Kokodei.

Speaking at a durbar organised by the chiefs and people of Kokodei near Kuntanase at the weekend, she said about 26 per cent of children within the community were malnourished.

The durbar was to afford the District Health Management Team (DHMT) the opportunity to give the community feed back of the result of a nutrition survey conducted by the team.

Dr Fareen said it was realised that 28 per cent of children admitted to the Hospital were malnourished, out of which five to seven per cent were severely malnourished.

She said reports on the malnourished children indicated that, most of them came from Kokodei and its surrounding communities. Sister Fareen said, the survey revealed that out of a total of 119 children below the age of five screened in May this year, 26 per cent were malnourished, 36 per cent had mild malnutrition while 38 per cent had normal nutrition levels.

Mr Ruben Bedzra, District Nutrition Officer attributed the problem to the educational level of most mothers, poverty and cultural beliefs, which made people to eat unbalanced diets without knowing the consequences.

He advised nursing mothers to always breastfeed their newly born babies exclusively until they were six months old before giving them complementary foods that were rich in protein and energy.

Mr Bright Addai Mununkum, District Chief Executive advised parents to make the proper upbringing of their children their priority instead of spending money on cosmetics and clothes at the expense of their children's health and education. 15 July 04

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