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Malnutrition getting worse in India – Madhya Pradesh

March 24, 2009 - India

by Dr. Martina Fuchs

About 60% children in Madhya Pradesh state are malnourished.

Real Medicine Foundation works in Jhabua District, Madhya Pradesh.

Lying on a bed is a tiny malnourished child. Her limbs wasted, her stomach bloated, her hair thinning and falling out. Her name is Roshni.

She stares, wide-eyed, blankly at the ceiling. Roshni is six months old. She should weigh 4.5kg. But when she is placed on a set of scales they settle at just 2.9kg.

Roshni is suffering from severe acute malnutrition, defined by the World Health Organisation as weighing less than 60% of the ideal median weight for her height.

There are 40 beds in this centre. On every one is a similar child. All are acutely malnourished. Wailing, painful, plaintive cries fill the air. This is the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre in the town of Shivpuri.

You might think we are somewhere in Africa. But this is the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh – modern India, a land of booming growth. 

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