As many as 1,550 severely malnourished children have gone under the radar of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) as health officials could trace only 1,182 out of the 2,732 malnourished children to be screened at health check-up camps.
The remaining children belonged to migrating families involved in construction work and other forms of wage labour. During the camps held in August and September, the BBMP had diagnosed 2,732 children as severely malnourished. However, the BBMP’s link workers and auxiliary nurse midwives (ANM) could find only 1,182 of them during a door-to-door survey.
Speaking to Express, Dr Devaki Umesh, Chief Health Officer, BBMP, said the Palike will make efforts to trace the remaining children.
“Our link workers and ANMs will search for these children and check their status,” said Dr Devaki. Most of the cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) were those of children of daily wage workers, said Dr Manjunath S L, Assistant Surgeon, Pabbathi Maternity Home, Basavanagudi.
“These women carry their children to construction sites and do not feed the right food at right time. So, the children suffers,” said Dr Manjunath. An example of this was Ramzanbi, a construction worker whose daughter Parveen is underweight by a kilogram. Ramzanbi said she could not manage to feed the child on time. “I feed her whenever I eat food. It is not possible for me to take care of her when she is hungry. Work keeps me busy,” she said.
Through the three-day health check-up camp that kicked-off on Monday, the BBMP’s health department has also screened as many as 171 new children suffering from SAM.
These children are not beneficiaries of Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). In the health centres and maternity homes run by BBMP in 198 wards, a total of 5,882 children were examined for being severely or moderately malnourished.
Out of these, 1,182 were follow-up cases like Parveen, who was found to be severely malnourished in the camps held by the BBMP earlier this year.