POOR DIET

30 per cent of Kwale children malnourished - official

High rates of poverty and illiteracy considered to be the major causes

In Summary
  • Three out of 10 children show signs of stunted growth
  • Official says such children record poor performance in schools

About 30 per cent of children in Kwale suffer from malnutrition, an official has said.

Three out of 10 children show signs of stunted growth, Matuga subcounty nutrition coordinator Rachael Kahindi said.

"A quarter of the children have heights that do not match their actual age,” she said.

Kahindi said 11.8 per cent of children below five years have recorded massive weight loss.

She spoke on Thursday during the launch of Malezi Bora campaign at Mvindeni health centre.

Kahindi said high rates of poverty and illiteracy might be the major causes of malnutrition.

"The reasons are many but inability to feed on a balanced diet and insufficient lessons on nutritional benefits can be linked to the problem,” she said.

She said most families skip meals and eat the same foods every day.

The coordinator added that infants are introduced early to foods that are less nutritious.

"Children are forced to take black tea, cassava among others on a daily basis which lack appropriate vitamins," she said.

Subcounty nutrition officer Shamila Kasim said malnutrition has affected children's thinking capacity.

 

She said children with poor nutrition record poor performances in school.

She said poor hygienic conditions in communities also translate to malnutrition.

Kasim said children suffer from frequent diarrhoea and vomiting because of the unsanitary surroundings they are exposed to.

She said deworming and giving infants from six months vitamin A supplements will help fight malnutrition.