Children returning to Trinco suffer malnutrition
[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 May 2002, 20:44 GMT]
Sixty eight percent of the children returning from Vanni with their parents to be resettled in Trincomalee have been found underweight, their growth stunted by malnutrition, according to a medical survey done by the Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRC) in the eastern district.
People from Trincomalee who fled to the Vanni 10-12 years ago to escape Sri Lanka army operations and bombings have begun gradually to retrurn after Colombo and the LTTE signed the indefinite cease-fire agreement in February.
These returnees from the Vanni are mainly from the villages Nilaveli, Kuchchaveli, Mutur and Eachilampathu.
Provincial Ministry of Health disclosed Sunday that all returnees are being screened and vaccinated for various diseases before they are allowed to go to their villages.
All children under the age of fifteenare medically examined and are given two doses of polio vaccination. Blood samples are taken to check for malaria.
"In the routine medical examination held at Nilaveli welfare centre where the returnees stay for medical check up, medical teams have found sixty eight percent of the children suffer from malnutrition," said Dr.E.G.Gnanakunalan, President of the Trincomalee district branch of the SLRC at the monthly meeting of the Trincomalee District Consortium of Non Governmental Organisations held Saturday.
The Trincomalee district officials of the SLRC have now appealed to the welfare organisations to organise feeding programmes for these children.