ASIA/INDIA - Malnutrition and childhood diseases for children in the slums in the south of the country

Thursday, 31 January 2013

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - In recent decades, in India there has been a rapid and disorganized urbanization. The impact of childhood illnesses and malnutrition in this population remains difficult to quantify. A group of experts conducted a study on 176 children, in the previous step to weaning from four geographically adjacent slums, located on the western outskirts of Vellore, Tamil Nadu, to verify the safety of the water and the resulting intestinal infections. A bottled water and water from the town hall of residence were distributed. Each week, the children were visited at home and on a monthly basis until the second year of age, they were subjected to the measurement of the body to control their growth. The results gave a total of 3932 episodes of illnesses, with an incidence of 12.5 per child per year. The most common illnesses recorded were respiratory and gastrointestinal.
During the two years of controls provided by the study it showed that about one-third of children aged 2 was stunted, and two-thirds had at least one episode of growth. There was not any difference among children who had received bottled water and municipal water. The common diseases can adversely affect children’s health and their development, as well as placing an additional burden for families who need to be treated and find resources.
(AP) (Agenzia Fides 31/01/2013)