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Every day, 5 more patients are being admitted for malnourishment, says doctor

The atmosphere at the 100-bed Cottage Hospital in Jawhar is that of desperation. Everywhere you look, gaunt, emaciated children stare back at you. They are all victims of different degrees of malourishment.

According to doctors at the hospital, around 200 to 300 patients visit the hospital on a daily basis for treatment in the outdoor patient department. Additionally, five to six cases of moderately malnourished children are admitted daily to the paediatric ward. However, the number has risen to 24 as of August 4.

On Saturday, a team from MiD DAY visited the hospital and were aghast after witnessing the condition of the children and their family members at the hospital. Many of the children were patients of severe malnourishment,

with respiratory tract infection. Dr Sanjay Kawade, on-duty paediatrician at the hospital said, “Usually there are four to five cases of malnutrition referred daily to our hospital, but the number increases during monsoons. In a malnourished child, immunity is very low and they are contract infections, if they don’t receive proper care.”

“We admit such patients and provide treatment, which includes a high protein and carbohydrate diet with multivitamins, that will help them gain weight. As soon as they are discharged, they lose the weight and fall sick owing to the absence of a balanced diet,” he added.

Saru Budhe, of Sagpani village, mother of two children who are in the hospital agrees that the quality of food provided by the aanganwadi is not of good quality. Other mothers in the paediatric ward agreed that the quality of food is poor.

Pratiksha Shinde: 1 year
Village: Kogda
Weight: 4.78 kg
Ideal weight: 7-8 kg
Category: Severe acute malnutrition
Reason for admission: Respiratory tract infection

Meena Gare: 3 years
Village: Khodala
Weight: 6.7 kg
Ideal weight: 13-14 kg
Category: Severe acute malnutrition
Reason for admission: Lower respiratory tract infection


Starving: Saru with her twin sons Nakul and Lahu. PicS/atul kamble

Nakul Budhe: 1.7 year
Village: Sagpani
Weight: 4 kg
Ideal weight: 10-11 kg
Category: Severe acute malnutrition
Reason for admission: Severe anaemia

Lahu Budhe: 1.7 year
Village: Sagpani
Weight: 3.75 kg
Ideal weight: 10-11 kg
Category: Severe acute malnutrition
Reason for admission: Respiratory tract infection

Nisha Mangad: 11 mnths
Village: Sirsanipada
Weight: 3.5 kg
Ideal weight: 7-8 kg
Category: Severe acute malnutrition
Reason for admission: Respiratory tract infection

Mahima Digha: 10 mnths
Village: Khandepade
Weight: 3.2 kg
Ideal weight: 7-8 kg
Category: Severe acute malnutrition
Reason for admission: Respiratory tract infection

1.2-kg baby born at hospital
On August 3, Savitra Ghatal of Ase village, Mokhada taluka, gave birth to a baby girl weighing only 1.2 kg. This was her first baby, who required an incubator support.

Dr Ramdar Marad, superintendent at the hospital, said that 30 per cent of the newborns were born underweight -- anywhere between 750 gram and 1.5 kg. In June 2013, 170 newborns were delivered, out of which 10 per cent were below 1 kg.  

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