Over 100 children die due to malnutrition in Gauteng: MEC

31 October 2016 - 11:08 By Penwell Dlamini

There are about 3000 cases of malnutrition among children in Gauteng‚ the provincial Department of Health said on Monday. Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu revealed this in a statement on information based on the annual reported presented to the portfolio committee for the 2015/16 financial year on Friday.“For the period under review‚ about 3040 new cases of severe acute malnutrition were identified‚ and out of those about 1512 children were admitted at different facilities and‚ unfortunately about 113 deaths were experienced as a result of severe acute malnutrition‚” Mahlangu said. She added that the vulnerable children identified at primary health centres with suspected malnutrition (moderate or severe malnutrition) are referred to hospitals for final diagnosis through the World Health Organisation (WHO) classification protocol‚ and put on appropriate treatment and management thereof. “In our effort to fight the scourge of malnutrition‚ we will make sure that children do not reach hospitals very late with an advanced disease condition which could lead to fatality. Our antenatal care will continue to identify women at risk of malnutrition due to low income (vulnerability) and provide them with food supplementations; the Department of Social Development will continue provide food parcels.” The department is promoting exclusive breastfeeding aggressively.To mitigate the incorrect classification of malnutrition‚ the department will continue to train doctors and nurses in all healthcare facilities on the correct classification of severe acute malnutrition for early diagnosis and immediate access to appropriate treatment. ..

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