The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said that since the beginning of the new year, more than 100,000 children have been infected with acute malnutrition in Afghanistan.
Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, while checking the health status of malnourished children at the Paktia Regional Hospital, said that last year one million children in Afghanistan were malnourished, but this year the number has risen to 1.1 million.
He called on international aid agencies to provide immediate assistance to prevent the disease from spreading further.
“But again as I said, unfortunately, most of these children probably also are born already malnourished…because the conditions of their mothers during pregnancy but also when these kids are born, mothers that are also malnourished…,” said Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, local officials at Paktia Regional Hospital said that the number of malnourished children in the province has increased by 50 percent compared to the past three years.
According to officials, in the first month of the new year, 2,525 cases of malnutrition have been recorded in the province.
“In Paktia, the number of malnourished people has increased compared to the past. Of course, the number of severe malnutrition cases we have throughout Paktia is 1.6 percent,” said Dr. Nematullah Zaheer, head of Paktia Regional Hospital.
Based on statistics of the provincial hospital, the death rate of children with malnutrition has increased from 8% to 10% compared to last year.