Mbarara Hospital Struggles to Feed Malnourished Children

1655 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
During their stay at the facilitys childrens ward, the children are fed on milk, eggs, porridge, millet and a collection of pre-prepared formulae and nutrition foods distributed by the Ministry of Health.

Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital is struggling to feed malnourished children.

The hospital receives between 10-15 children every day. Most of these are from Isingiro district where a prolonged dry spell devastated gardens and triggered a severe food shortage across the district last year.

Penina Mubangizi, a resident of Masha in Isingiro district who is now attending to her malnourished child at Mbarara Hospital says that during the time, the family was surviving on one meal a day and would go without a meal on some days.

Due to the lack of proper nutrition, caused by not having enough to eat and not eating enough of the right portions of nutrients needed in their bodies, a number of children are now admitted in hospital.  During their stay at the facility's children's ward, the children are fed on milk, eggs, porridge, millet and a collection of pre-prepared formulae and nutrition foods distributed by the Ministry of Health.

However the hospital is facing a stock out of nutritional feeds.

Dr Elias Kumbakumba, from Mbarara Hospital's Department of Pediatrics and Child Health says the facility is overwhelmed by the big numbers of malnourished children. He says as a result, the facility is now struggling to feed the children who require special meals to regain nourishment.

He says that malnutrition has also greatly contributed to the number of children who die at the facility. He says that 5-7 out of every 100 children admitted to the facility do not live to see their next birthday.
//Cue in: "for every a hundred....
Cue out:.....lower health facilities:"
Kumbakumba says that some of the children who are treated with malnutrition usually return to the facility after failing to get the required food at their homes.
//Cue in: "porridges, different porridges....
Cue out:.....not always very easy:"//
Peter Ssebutinde, the Mbarara District Director of Health Services says that the district is working to ensure that the lower health units work and perform better to reduce the number of those rushing to the referral hospital for treatment.


About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.