Poor nutrition - the main cause:
One-fifth of children underweight
One-fifth of all children in the country are under weight due to poor
nutritional conditions, Deputy Health Minister Lalith Dissanayake said.
He said this situation cannot be improved with medication alone and
called upon parents to give their children the highly nutritious Kola
Kenda (herbal porridge).
Deputy Health Minister Dissanayaka told the Sunday Observer that his
Ministry paid special attention to the poor health conditions of
children from their tender ages and said the non- consumption of
nutritious food items is the main cause of various childhood diseases.
He said the Health Department has taken a decision to evaluate the
nutritional conditions of children in future by issuing a `Child Growth
Plan Reportí for new-born children.
The Deputy Minister also directed health authorities to keep a record
of the nutritional level of expectant mothers as this is vital for the
well-being of children to be born.
He stressed that breast feeding is the best remedy to improve the
health condition of infants and said that health statistics reveal that
16 percent of lactating mothers suffer from iron deficiency.
Dissanayake said a program has also been initiated to provide iron
tablets, Vitamin C and calcium tablets to children of all ages through
regular health camps in schools and for expectant mothers through area