Sat, 13 Mar 1999

Three infants die of malnutrition

SERANG, West Java: Three infants under five years old died of severe malnutrition, Antara reported Friday while at least 3,000 others were also undernourished.

The head of the Serang region's health agency, Djono Kardjoeki, said the three who had suffered for months were Junaedi, two, Febi, six months, and Amarullah, 19 months.

Another infant of 16 months, Saepi bin Sanusi, was also under intensive treatment.

Infants were being given supplementary diet, supported by the social safety net of Rp 750 per infant per day for 90 days, he said.

Severe malnutrition has also affected at least 70,611 out of 350,588 infants in East Kalimantan, Antara reported Friday.

The head of the provincial health agency, Awang Joenani, said in Samarinda that the figure was expected to rise, given the possibility of currently unreported cases.

In 1997 the figure for malnourished infants was 21.7 percent, which became 23.3 percent in the province last year.

No deaths have been reported, he said.

Regency offices had reported the worst cases were one child in Pasir regency and another in Berau regency, both of whom were being taken care of by pediatricians, he said.

He said residents at community health posts were being alerted to help improve the nutrition level of infants and pregnant women.