Malnutrition, war said severely affecting children

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
"The conflict situation in Jaffna, today has severely affected children of all ages by retarding their mental development. It also affects schooling and breaks up homes," said Dr. Sabah Jeyarajah, of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna, at a meeting in Jaffna on Thursday.

The meeting was sponsored by the Child Development Organisation and held at the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society auditorium.

Dr. Jeyarajah spoke extensively on malnutrition among children caused by food shortage during war.

He said that it slowed mental growth in children and did not give them the physical energy required at their age.

He also spoke about war interrupting education and not providing a suitable environment where systematic studies could be undertaken.

War also traumatised children by subjecting them to severe family pressures, such as what children face when they lose one or both parents, are separated from them, or become displaced as refugees.

There are no Sri Lankan Government sponsored institutions to treat children suffering from trauma in the Jaffna Peninsula.

There are only NGOs and voluntary organisations which provide these services which are inadequate to meet the needs said medical sources who commented on Dr. Jeyarajah observations.

 

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