Since January, Menongue Pediatric Hospital in Cuando Cubango province has registered 218 cases of malnutrition in children under five, of which 20 have died, the health unit's director said.
Most cases of malnutrition that are admitted to the Menongue pediatric hospital, said Ilidia Martins, are directly linked to HIV-AIDS and are due to early weaning, lack of healthy eating and prolonged illnesses such as malaria, anemia and acute diarrhea.
According to Ilidia Martins, the number of malnourished children tends to increase, because many mothers who give birth to HIV-positive babies abandon the treatment they should undergo and only return to pediatrics when their child's health is already very serious. Another situation is related to teenage mothers, who often get pregnant again before the child reaches a certain age, causing early weaning.
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