The number of malnourished children being admitted to Solwezi General Hospital has increased, senior nursing officer Chinyama Seleji has disclosed.
This came to light when Milos Garden Lodge and Solwezi district administration donated assorted foodstuffs.
Among the items that were donated included 100 x 25 kg of mealie meal, 40 litres of cooking oil one bail of blankets and 40 kg of white sugar worth K8,300.
Mr Seleji explained that the hospital has seen an increase in the number of malnourished children being admitted to the health institution, attributing the increase to a number of factors among them tuberculosis infections (TB), pneumonia, measles and low social economic status of parents among others.
‘‘Apart from the above mentioned factors, HIV is also contributing to the increase in the number of malnourished children because you will find that some children are from positive parents. Previously, we could have maybe three, four, five children admitted, but of late the number has drastically increased up to 30,’’ Mr Seleji said.
He said patients are supposed to be put on special diet but the institution was overwhelmed due to the increase in numbers of admitted patients.
‘’We give our patients supplementary food which is called F75, which is more like a starter to those that are ill and as the condition improves they graduate to F100. But we do not have such type of food supplements as an institution. Now what we have done is we have come up with a formula of making this food supplement just to keep us going.
‘’Another challenge we have is bed space, usually we expect at least five in every room but you can see that we have about 10 in each room,” he said.
He appealed to the corporate world to come on board and supplement Government’s efforts.
And Milo’s Garden Lodge manager Daniel Masitaki said he was compelled to make the donation after seeing the challenges the health institution was going through.
‘’It is the duty of every corporate body to supplement Government’s efforts, hence making this donation,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, acting Solwezi district commissioner Chipawa Chipawa said Government was committed to improving health service delivery to its people.
He said in its quest to bring health services closer to the people, Government was constructing 11 health posts in the district out of the 74 that have been allocated to North Western Province from the 650 being constructed countrywide.
‘’This shows how committed this Government is, and once completed, these health posts will help improve the provision of health services to the people,” he said.