NAKAPIRIPIRIT – Malnutrition that had previously been putdown by joint efforts of government and NGOs in Karamoja has yet again reclaimed back its routes in the region following shortage of food as result of the country’s lockdown on Covid-19.
In a one week survey by PML Daily in some few districts of Karamoja, there is evidence of high number of malnourished among the children as a result of failure by mothers to afford balance diet due to the closure of business as government locks down to fight Covid 19.
At Tokora health centre IV in Nakapiripirit district, over 20 cases of malnutrition were registered in a single day with nurses saying the cases were rising up compare to malaria.
One of the nurses (prefers anonymity) who spoke to us on Wednesday said most mother’s had managed to contain malnutrition amongst their children but since the lockdown, mothers are stuck.
Betty Tikol, a mothers and resident of Kakomongole village in Kakomongole sub county Nakapiripirit district who’s attending to her malnourished child in Tokora health centre said the current lockdown has made it hard for them to run businesses where they could get some money to provide balanced diet for their children.
“For me, I used to make local brew but now when government banned gathering and closed businesses, it’s very hard for us as mothers to bring food on the table,” she said.
Dr. John Anguzu, the District Health Director confirmed cases of malnutrition rising up across the region.
“Cases of malnutrition had gone down because people had known on how to fight it through eating balanced diet but now am seeing children are getting malnourished,” he said.
Malnutrition kills, causes diseases and makes disease even more severe, according to a briefing note.
Timothy Teko, a Nutrition Focal Person in charge of Napak and Moroto, pointed out that although malnutrition is high in Karamoja, it has not yet reached a critical level.
Karamoja suffers from one the worst rates of malnutrition in the world. In 2010, 16% of children under the age of five suffered from acute malnutrition, and nearly 40% of children in this age group were underweight, according to FANTA2.
The mayor of Moroto Municipal Council Alex Longona said malnutrition was equally prevalent in the urban area.
“Please consider us also in the urban centres for relief assistance. Some people think we people in town are well off. But as you can see we have many children here who are severely malnourished,” he said.
Over 60 children in Nakapelem settlement in Moroto municipality are severely malnourished, according to local leader’s here.