Jaffna conditions seen affecting infants

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Almost one child in ten, born last year in the Jaffna District, was underweight, the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for the Jaffna District, told the TamilNet correspondent today.

Of a total 5924 births recorded in the District last year, 526 children were less than 21/2 lbs. Children born below 21/2 lbs. are considered underweight, by Sri Lankan medical standards.

The MOH also said that 205 children died soon after birth. One hundred and forty eight (148) mothers suffered miscarriages between 1-65 days of conception and 205 mothers miscarried between 65 - 120 days of conception.

There were 14 cases of maternal deaths also reported during the same period. Meanwhile, 38,778 cases of Malaria were reported in the Jaffna District last year. Of these 2,229 were cases of brain malaria.

Sources said that one reason for the disease to reach epidemic proportions last year was that the Anti-Malaria Campaign which was active in the past, has almost stopped functioning now.

The last District Medical Officer (DMO) Dr. M S N Majeed was transferred from the District four months ago and no replacement has been sent by the Ministry of Health, said sources.

Conditions at hospitals remain below standard in the Jaffna District with the delays in the transportation of medicines from Colombo and reluctance of local doctors to serve in the area due to security reasons.


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