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SL faces severe nutritional challenges-UN warns

30 May 2014 07:39 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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UN Children's agency UNICEF warned that Sri Lanka faces severe nutritional challenges with large numbers of children and women affected by Iron Deficiency Anemia ( IDA), the agency said in a statement on Friday.
 
UNICEF has estimated 1 in 3 children and 1 in 4 adults in Sri Lanka suffer from iron deficiency anemia, making it the most critical micronutrient-related deficiency in the country of 20 million people.
 
According to the UNICEF, anemia, mainly due to iron deficiency, affects 40 percent of pre-school children and 1 in 2 pregnant women in developing countries.
 
Infants born of mothers with anemia often have low birth weight, and face a higher risk of dying in infancy and childhood. Premature births, delayed growth and development, delayed normal infant activity and movement are also associated with IDA, the UNICEF notes.
 
Sri Lanka's Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena acknowledges Iron Deficiency Anemia is a public health problem.
 
"Prevention and treatment of iron deficiency can raise national productivity by 20 percent," he noted.
 
Children and adults with IDA have poor memory or poor cognitive skills resulting in poor performance in school, work, and in recreational activities. Lower IQs have been linked to iron deficiency occurring during critical periods of growth.
 
Una McCauley, UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka said the Iron increases the success of early education, health, and social programs for children.
 
"By treating IDA early, you give children a better chance to develop to their full potential," she said.
 
Prevention and treatment of IDA includes the consumption of iron rich foods such as lean meats, fish, nuts, green leafy vegetables, pulses and eggs. Sources of Vitamin C such as fruits or vegetables can also help the body to absorb iron better.(Xinhua)
 
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  Comments - 9

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  • Concerned Friday, 30 May 2014 08:00 AM

    How can we accept this report when one of our leading ministers said that all can survive a month with Rs. 2500?=? Whom should we listen to?

    Dr. Saman Friday, 30 May 2014 08:08 AM

    Spinach - aka nivithi has the highest content of iron if you are vegetarian . Liver is also rich with iron if you are a carnivore!


    .

    Saranga Friday, 30 May 2014 08:23 AM

    Sri lanka needs to change attitude towards food and doctors should stop scaring off people.
    Tax on food must be lifted & income tax should widen or lifted.
    Shameful in this day n age.

    C.K.Lankaputhra Friday, 30 May 2014 08:56 AM

    Children here were assured of a 'Poshana Malla' long time back.. Has it not given?

    Calistus Jayatilleke Friday, 30 May 2014 09:15 AM

    How can this be true in a paradise like country where the government is so generous and gives free food for school children and nutritious packages to pregnant woman and everyone is marching towards the Miracle of Asia. Sounds like another one of those western conspiracies!

    Azee Friday, 30 May 2014 02:55 PM

    What this is happening in the. Miracle of Asia via DM Android App

    tuan Friday, 30 May 2014 09:37 AM

    MP mervyn silva wants parents in SL to bring up lot of children.

    Samitha Silva Friday, 30 May 2014 09:39 AM

    High time to implement national policy on taxes for all food items.

    joe Friday, 30 May 2014 03:49 PM

    Malnutrition is almost endemic in Sri Lanka and this is nothing new. 50 years ago when I was an undergrad a health survey amongst new entrants to Peradeniya revealed malnutrition as the most serious issue . Our eating habits have to change - a mountain of rice pol sambol karts sambol a vehicle or two and parippu if you can afford it does not help. Introduce cheap but high nutrient vegis like murunga nivithi bandakka and proteins like lentils kadala. Simply bashing the goveremt will not help.


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