Alarm over malnutrition in North East
Malnutrition level has reached 50% in North and East while the island-wide rate stands at 29%, according to a leading Community Medicine Specialist attached to Sri Lankan Ministry of Health in Colombo. Dr Murali Vallipuranathan, who held a workshop to journalists in Jaffna on reporting health, revealed the latest malnutrition rates from the districts in North and East as 53% in Batticaloa, 51% in Vanni (comprising 4 districts), 45% in Trincomalee, 44% in Ampaa’rai and 43% in Jaffna district. The alarming malnutrition rate in the occupied country of Eezham Tamils comes after more than 4 years of the so-called ‘development’ propaganda waged by the Sri Lankan State.
The malnutrition rate is corresponding also with the alarming poverty rate measured at 58.7% in the North and East, the medical expert told journalists at the workshop held on Saturday.
The latest alarm comes while UN agencies have closed down most of their humanitarian field offices and international NGOs have wound up their activities in the North and East.
In the meantime, Tamil officials attached to the UN said that the World Food Programme (WFP) was aware of the alarming situation already in 2011.
The WFP itself has reported in June 2011 that 63% of resettled people were living below the poverty line.
But, due to the lack of funding from the donor countries that were facing the economic crisis, the humanitarian agencies reduced their activities. They were also citing the World Bank reclassification of ‘Sri Lanka’ as having reached the status of middle-income country in 2010.
Commenting on the malnutrition prevailing in the North, health officials in North attributed the deteriorating situation to the structural genocide being committed on Eezham Tamils, especially in the two prime areas of livelihood: agriculture and fishing.
The health officials in Jaffna have urged focus on the high rate of mortality in the Tamil homeland, the situation of mental health among the resettling people and the restriction of birth rate among Tamils.