Malnutrition: Children’s death toll during five months in Thar rises to 333

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Malnutrition: Children’s death toll during five months in Thar rises to 333

May 18, 2019

MITHI:The death toll of children from malnutrition and diseases during five months (Jan-May 2019) rose to 333 in famine-struck Thar region of Sindh province Saturday as two more infants died of this situation.

The government’s relief measures seems to be insufficient in Tharparkar district, hit by famine, as people need more wheat, essential food items and drinking water facilities from the government.

Dileep, a 15-month boy, son of Raman Bheel, resident of village Jagari and a two-day old boy, son of Fateh Ali Lashari, died of malnutrition and diseases at Civil Hospital Mithi today, exposing the major hospital’s efficiency and performance. It has become usual for infants to die in this hospital, which is a matter of great concern. Sindh government also needs to provide more health facilities to Civil Hospital Mithi so that children’s deaths could be averted.

The provincial regime should take hectic measures to provide full treatment to the sick children of Thar region in view of its claim of keeping health sector on top most priority.

The famine in Tharparkar district has badly affected people’s lives. The worst-hit are children. The malnutrition and diseases are on the rise due to poverty and food insecurity. However, the government has initiated relief measures to provide some food items to the poor, but the fact is that it is insufficient.

The Sindh government should come forward with sincere efforts and do the needful instead of showing lip service in the Thar region. Fact is that Rs 100 billion are required to spend on the Thar people annually to alleviate poverty as Imran Khan has announced for the FATA region.

Tharparkar district is under moderate drought. During the previous month, no rainfall has been reported in the district.

Climate change is causing drought condition in Tharparkar and its surrounding areas, where people face water scarcity and loss of grassy lands.

Climate change is a geographic problem which is affecting several areas of Sindh province. Further efforts to overcome the challenges of warming weather need to be made through enacting legislation, setting standards and developing and implementing policies for a secure and lively environment. The existing and proposed measures being taken by the government are not enough to address issues of Thar.

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