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Malnutrition Rate Better: Dr Tiko

Cases of malnutrition in Koro Island after Tropical Cyclone Winston hit in February 2016 have fallen, a local health official has said. Koro was one of the worst hit by
23 Dec 2017 18:20
Malnutrition Rate Better: Dr Tiko
Part of a talanoa session with Government officials at Nasau Village in Koro on Thursday, December 22, 2017. Photo: Fonua Talei

Cases of malnutrition in Koro Island after Tropical Cyclone Winston hit in February 2016 have fallen, a local health official has said.

Koro was one of the worst hit by the killer storm. In the aftermath of the Category 5 Cyclone health personnel on the island were expecting some cases of malnutrition because the food supply was completely destroyed.

Acting Divisional Medical Officer Eastern Dr Josaia Tiko said to date the malnutrition rate in Koro was improving.

“At the moment, with the health support and our advice to the community, we are doing well with malnutrition,” Dr Tiko said.

“When I came in 2012 I think we had a single case of malnutrition and we had a few other cases after that.”

He noted a factor that led to malnutrition were children being raised by single parents.

“These are the vulnerable in society because we have sort of boxed them to a side and we forget about them. Those of us who are in a position to serve we should see children who are brought up by single parents,” he said.

“These children are the ones who are not well fed. Government will support social welfare, but how much the $40 will assist each child it will only take maybe a step, but the five and six steps after that is on us the community.”

He told villagers present during the Nasau Health Clinic extension ground-breaking ceremony, to feed their children food that would nourish their bodies.

“You are what you eat. And what we can term it now is ‘malnutrition in the midst of plenty’ because this is happening when we have abundant food supply from the ocean and also from our plantation,” Dr Tiko said.

He said the Health Ministry had its limits and could only go so far as advising people on what to do. The ministry is now concerned about micro-nutrient deficiency – where people can eat food but the nutritional value of their food is not there.

“For example, you can be full from noodles but it does not provide you with the proper nutrients,” Dr Tiko said.

To solve the problem he is encouraging the public to plant their own food.

The Minister for Health and Medical Services, Rosy Akbar, said it was wonderful to see the lush greenery on the island, which was a symbol that food supply on Koro was getting back to normal.

She said this was a testament to their resilience.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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