Lira District Undertakes to Curtail Malnutrition

5905 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
On monthly basis, between 30 to 50 cases of malnourished children are admitted at Lira regional referral hospital therapeutic unit. On average, 40 of them are put on rehabilitation treatment and continue to collect their feeds as outpatients. The nutrition unit has about 25 severely malnourished children on admission.

Lira district authorities have embarked on a campaign to curtail the rising cases of severe malnutrition among children below five years.

From March this year, Lira and surrounding districts mainly Kole, have recorded a gradual increase in the number of malnourished children. Aromo, Ogur and Ngetta Sub Counties in Lira district and Alito Sub County in Kole district have registered high cases of malnutrition.

On monthly basis, between 30 to 50 cases of malnourished children are admitted at Lira regional referral hospital therapeutic unit.  On average, 40 of them are put on rehabilitation treatment and continue to collect their feeds as outpatients. The nutrition unit has about 25 severely malnourished children on admission.
 
About a year ago, the facility would hardly receive more than 15 cases of malnourished children.
   
Dr. Edmond Acuke, The Lira district deputy health officer says they have embarked on the formation of nutrition committees at sub county level to combat malnutrition in the community. He says the committee is tasked to work together with village authorities to ensure that all households are food secure and properly feeding their children.
 
Robina Alwori, a nutritionist at Lira referral says most malnourished children are usually brought to the facility late with accumulated fluids in the body and head.  She says all admitted children are first enrolled on strategic therapeutic feeding ‘formula 75 where a patient is fed on parked milk after every two hours for up to 12 times a day for about a week.
 
afterwards, patients are enrolled on second stage of therapeutic care feeding ‘formula 100' where a child is fed on plump nuts after every three hours counting about eight times a day for a week before being forwarded to rehabilitation stage.
 
Alwori say children born with HIV compose the majority of malnourished children admitted at the facility hence putting the epidemic as the leading cause of malnutrition.
 
Before a child is discharged from the therapeutic unit at this facility, he/she undergoes a thorough medical investigation carried by Dr. Justin Odhaka, an intern medical doctor to ensure they have no medical complications.
 
Paska Atim 63, a resident of Aloi Sub County in Alebtong district whose two and years old grandchild, Jonathan Agea is admitted and undergoing therapeutic care at Lira referral expressed happiness how affected children are always fed at the facility. Agea is suffering from hydrocephalus infection (accumulation of fluids in the brain) a state when a child is produced with congenital abnormality.
 
Martin Ocen Odyek, Lira district council speaker says they are in the process of developing food security bylaw to ensure all households are food secured in a bid to reducing malnutrition and promoting a healthy community. This will be enforced by encouraging increased food production, consumption and storage.
  

 

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.