Sat, 27 Mar 1999

Over 100 infants undernourished

YOGYAKARTA: More than 100 infants here aged under five years have been found in the past four months to suffer from malnutrition, 36 of them needing intensive treatment, an official said on Thursday.

Head of provincial health office Mochamad Harsono said the malnourished children had been admitted to hospitals. The government will pay their medical fees with money allocated from the state budget for the social safety net program.

"We expect the number will increase because many more cases may not have been detected," Harsono said, adding that the search for malnourished infants was still underway.

He said most of the children came from families who had been affected by the economic turmoil. "Many of the families can no longer make a living after losing their jobs," he said.

The provincial administration has dispatched aid packages to the malnourished babies. Each package includes 60 kilograms of rice, a box of instant noodles and ketchup. (44)