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Over 250,000 malnourished children in West Java province WEST JAVA - More than 250,000 Indonesian children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition in West Java's impoverished northern coastal regions, the Jakarta Post reported Saturday.


"Cases of malnutrition are difficult to eradicate mainly because of low income and lack of knowledge about nutritionally rich food and healthy lifestyles," West Java Health Agency head Alma Lucyati said.

"We do not differentiate between children from wealthy families and poor ones because incidents of malnutrition are prevalent in both cases," she added.

From the 250,000 children, more than 7,000 suffered from severe malnutrition. The figure, however, had decreased compared to previous years. In 2009, 10 percent of the province's 3.5 million children under the age of five suffered from malnutrition, while in 2010 the figure decreased to 8 percent, according to official figures.

Lucyati explained that in most cases, children were malnourished from before birth. Data from the agency showed 11.5 percent of newborns in the province weighed less than 2.5 kilograms, with the mothers also suffering from malnutrition.

Malnutrition and limited access to health services have also been blamed as the main causes of high mortality among babies and among expectant mothers. The agency's 2010 data showed 39 newborn babies and 19 mothers died for every 100,000 births.

The West Java province had increased its health budget from 4.7 percent of its total budget of Rp 744 billion (US$84.6 million) last year to 7.6 percent this year to address these issues.


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Posted in Health @ 19 March 2011 20:37 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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