After launching a national campaign against mulnutrion – a deficiency that affects 45 percent of children country-wide, the Minister for Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera has warned that tougher measures will be imposed against negligent parents, should the problem persist.
According to Sezibera, over 10,000 children were admitted to hospitals in critical conditions during the country-wide survey on the prevalence of malnutrition.
“It is absurd that most of these children actually should not have been in this condition, given the fact that their parents are farmers. Instead these agriculturalists transport all nutritious foods such as carrots and eggs among others to the market.
“With new programmes like Girinka, kitchen gardens and Ubudehe in place we are enabling parents to meet their children’s health needs.
Next year, a home to home follow up strategy of these children will be conducted but once they have not improved, parents will face tougher measures,” Sezibera emphasized.
Health officials note that, the fight against malnutrition, just like malaria are top ministerial priorities in a bid to improve public health.
During the campaign which started in May, the Director General of the Health Communication Centre, Gamaliel Binamungu explained that pre-cooked foods were taken to all health centres to help the malnourished children recover.
Cases of Kwashiorkor and Marasmus were the most evident during the survey.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho also said that malnutrition does not necessarily kill but accelerates the rate at which children may die of other diseases hence contributing about 50 percent to childhood deaths.
Recommended foods include meat, eggs, fruits and all protein foods among others.