Malnutrition Hits Masego Clinic

FRANCISTOWN: Worrying cases of child malnutrition have been recorded at Masego clinic in Francistown, a health expert has disclosed.

Greater Francistown District Health Management Team (GFHMT) nutritionist, Masego Osupile said the cluster is faced with alarming rate of moderate acute malnutrition cases, which call for a concern. She also said moderate acute malnutrition hinders the development of a child and normally take place after an infant is over six months of age.

“Acute malnutrition takes place when the mother has stopped lactating either through breast feeding or formula. Most of the parents only feed the baby porridge when he or she reaches six months which is not healthy,” she said.

The nutritionist indicated that at six months, a child needs to be given supplementary feeds such as potatoes, butternuts and sorghum or maize meal with soup or sour milk. She said there are rumours that a six-month year old baby is not supposed to eat salty food, as it will prevent him/her from teething.

Osupile also raised a concern that some of the parents get dietary intervention products such as Tsabana from the clinic, but it is not fed to the babies but rather consumed by men because they believe it helps in boosting erection. Osupile urged the parents to feed their children Tsabana so that their children can develop healthy.

She also encouraged mothers to take their children who show signs of malnutrition so that they can get treatment before it is too late. When revealing the statistics the nutritionist said Masego clinic registers close to 800 children for monthly routine check ups.

She said of the 800 children, about 25 children have malnutrition surpassing the three percent target set by government. She said they are currently conducting early talks in order to prevent malnutrition and encourage parents to give children the prescribed treatment.

A nurse at Masego clinic, Kago Sehurutshe also complained that some parents in their locality do not take their children for monthly routine check-ups.

“Most of the parents have a habit that when there is no Tsabana at the clinic, they don’t bring their children for check up. When we questioned them about the matter they will give excuses that they don’t find the need to do so if Tsabana is not available in the clinic,” he said.

Sehurutshe added that some parents go to an extent of absconding their children from the check up and cover up by marking the monthly weight and injections on their own.

He shared that it is illegal to do so and one can be jailed for such actions. Sehurutshe encouraged parents to bring their children for monthly check ups so that development of their children can be monitored.

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