Crisis cuts off vital food programme


The country is in serious crisis and the people are suffering due to uncontrollable inflation. There are thousands of daily wage earners, who have become helpless in this situation, without enough money to buy the bread and butter for their families. Among those families there are children below five, pregnant women and breast feeding mothers who needs a special attention. But at this critical time the Government has stopped supplying Thriposha; the only relief they had of their nutritional needs.

Thriposha has helped pregnant mothers prevent future malnutrition in their children after birth.

Sri Lanka Thriposha LTD (SLTLTD) distributes Thriposha for six beneficiary categories;

  • All pregnant mothers
  • All breast feeding mothers with infants under six-month
  • Infants over six months and preschool children below five suffering from malnutrition.
  • Children under -2SD line of weight in the Child Card.
  • Children exhibiting a rapid drop of weight during a period of three months according to child growth record (feeding them Thriposha can be stopped once the child regains normal weight).
  • Hospitalised patients and patients in wards belonging to the above said groups.

SLTLTD says Thriposha is highly helpful in meeting nutritional requirements that is not available in the main diet.

Dr. Chithramalee De Silva, Director of Family Health Bureau said that Thriposha is an important supplement for children and mothers which supplies them the necessary nutrition and is an important service especially in a hard time like this.

“We contacted UN agenesis for help, until then we are planning on giving alternative supplements. As the present situation of this country is not good, we cannot hope for a quick action from the Government too. Furthermore, we don’t have enough dollars to buy necessary grains like corn,” she added.

She also said that the consequences will not be noticed yet as analyses are done biannually.

When Ceylon Today visited a woman who is six months pregnant, she said that   she has not received any Thriposha packet after her pregnancy, instead she had received a packet of fresh milk for few months and that too has been halted.    

“Now we have to spend more to buy substitute supplementary food. We got a packet of fresh milk instead of Thriposha, but that was also for two months”.

A mother of a two month old infant said she received Thriposha for only first four months of her pregnancy and then fresh milk for few months. She also said that they were informed that Thriposha will not be issued as the required cereals are expensive.

We got no response from the relevant state authority owing to the country’s instability. In addition, when we tried to contact the SLTLTD, it was reported that its factory has been closed for few days and has failed to contact the relevant authority.

Due to this chaotic situation and the instability of the country, even the children who are to see the world tomorrow have become victims.

By Kanchana Kolagolla