Government plans to launch 30 similar centres in other parts of the State to reduce fatality among children

In an attempt to reduce fatality among children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, a Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) with 20 beds was inaugurated at Gandhi Hospital on Wednesday.

The State government is also planning to launch 30 similar centres in other parts of the State, while the Gandhi Hospital NRC is the first centre of its kind to be inaugurated.

Trained specialists

The NRC will take care of children affected with severe acute malnutrition who need facility-based management. The centre will have trained specialist medical officers, staff nurses, nutrition counsellors, cook-cum-care takers, attendants, medico social workers round the clock to take special care of children, Head of the Department, Paediatrics, Gandhi Hospital, J. Venkateshwara Rao said on Wednesday.

The rehabilitation centre at Gandhi Hospital will take up children with malnutrition from surrounding districts while after treatment, the follow up would take two months. During the stay in the hospital, mothers too will be trained in healthy feeding habits so that after discharge, the weight gain of the child is maintained, Dr. Venkateshwara Rao added.

With appropriate nutritional, clinical and psycho-social management, many deaths related to malnutrition can be prevented, say doctors. According to the National Family Health Survey 3, 6.4 per cent of children below five years in the general population have severe acute malnutrition.

Irreversible damage

“Severe acute malnutrition among children has to be dealt at the earliest because it causes irreversible damage when they are two to three years old,” says Dr. Venkateshwara Rao.

Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare, Praveen Prakash, Superintendent, Gandhi Hospital, S. Mahaboob, Director of Medical Education, Vasantha Prasad were among those present on the occasion.

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