Malnutrition will soon be common – Dr. Bandara

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Secretary of the Medical and Civil Rights Physicians’ Trade Unions Alliance, Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara predicted that in the future, malnutrition will be a common issue in Sri Lanka, as citizens cannot fulfil their daily nutrition requirements due to skyrocketing inflation and many other issues.

He said many people in rural areas like Wellawaya, Hambantota were in grave danger, as many of them cannot have a balanced meal and that has led to serious health issues such as malnutrition and anaemia in the rural context. He said, “Even the Prime Minister says there will be a shortage of food in the months to come and the current situation will worsen in the future. In this situation, low-income families will not be able to feed their children because they cannot afford the food prices.”

Dr. Bandara said, “Though we can imagine that they will however find something to eat, in the future it will also be impossible. We cannot ask people to continue eating jack, breadfruit, and sweet potatoes. People are not in a position to consume meat, fish, and eggs and as a result they will not get the essential nutrients. Based on evidence that we have collected, we can predict this issue, yet it has not been confirmed by any research,” he added.

He said not only those in rural areas, even in urban areas the danger lurks. “People are already waiting in long queues for hours for fuel and gas and they will have to even stand in queues for food in the future. The previous government had not taken any steps to nip it in the bud. Now, it has become a serious problem and has reached a level where there are no essential drugs in hospitals,” he said.

He also said this issue will seriously affect pregnant, lactating mothers and babies due to the prevailing shortage of Thriposha.

By Sahan Tenekoon