Malnutrition poses grim threat to children in Afghanistan

KABUL (SW) – Malnutrition is the main cause of death among children in the world, which is rapidly spreading among children in Afghanistan these days.

During the past one year, the number of people faced with malnutrition has increased greatly.

Officials of the Ministry of Public Health told Salam Watandar that the ministry had predicted since the beginning of the year that 1.1 million children in Afghanistan may suffer from severe malnutrition.

Sharaf Zaman, the spokesperson of the ministry, says that at least 45,000 to 50,000 children in the country are suffering from malnutrition every month.

In the Indra Gandhi Children Hospital in Kabul, close to all the special beds for malnutrition patients, are full of patients.

Osman and Suleiman are 7-month-old twins who are struggling with malnutrition.

Banafsha, the mother of these two children, said that due to the bad economic situation, they do not have enough bread to eat, and because of this, she cannot provide enough milk for her children.

“We can’t get anything for these children, we can’t prepare medicine for them, and if one day there was milk, the next day there is no milk. If we find the night’s meal, I will not find for the morning bread. That’s why our child are malnourished.”

Saleha and Bibi Hajar are two mothers whose malnourished children brought them from Kapisa and Paktia provinces to Kabul.

Bibi Hajar, who came from Paktia to Kabul to treat her malnourished child, says that one of her children died as a result of malnutrition after being hospitalized in Paktia for a few days, and now she has brought her other child to Kabul for treatment. These mothers consider their poor economic situation as the reason for their children’s malnutrition and want more attention from the authorities in this field.

The Children’s Health Hospital in Kabul is witnessing a high rate of children suffering from various diseases. Officials in this hospital say that in recent months, out of necessity, they have accepted patients up to twice the capacity of the hospital.

Mohammad Arif Hasanzai, the head of the internal department of the Indragandi Children’s Health Hospital, wants more attention in the treatment and prevention of malnutrition. “More than 80% of the drugs are procured from within the hospital, and the remaining amount, unfortunately, is procured from outside. In general, we can say that the situation is neither normal nor good.”

This is while the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently said that 50,000 malnourished patients were hospitalized in Afghanistan last month.