Reduce prices of essential food items: GMOA | Daily News
Arresting malnutrition among children

Reduce prices of essential food items: GMOA

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) while highlighting the malnutrition status of children in the country, yesterday said Government should take immediate steps to reduce the prices of all essential food items since it is the only solution to stop this adverse trend among children.

GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said unless the prices of main foods, especially nutritious food that contains much-needed vitamins and proteins are reduced, parents would be unable to provide their children with a healthy diet.

He said in addition to the price reduction of essential foods, the price of infant milk powder too should be reduced.

According to global health experts, malnutrition is a serious condition and happens if anybody’s diet does not contain the right amount of nutrients.

The experts say the symptoms of malnutrition are lack of interest in food and drink, feeling tired, getting ill very often and wounds taking a long time to heal, inability to concentrate and feeling cold most of the time. Meanwhile, consultant Dr. Naradha Arambewela says during a recent survey conducted in several rural areas especially in the plantation sector, parents of children are asking authorities to reduce the prices of main foods, as they are not even in a position to buy milk powder for their children due to its high cost.

He said the Government, especially ministers should visit these vulnerable areas and identify such families and provide them with necessary milk powder at least through grama niladaris at a concessionary price, or else malnutrition among children will be further increase in future.

Meanwhile medical experts in Sri Lanka’s premier children’s hospital, the Lady Ridgway Hospital (RWH) also highlighted the importance of preventing malnutrition among children and request lactating mothers to provide their infants with breast milk during the first six months and thereafter to give light foods such as dhal, cereals, eggs, potatoes, green leaves, etc.

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