Malnourished boy hospitalised in Omusati

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Ongwediva

A two-year-old boy from Eehe village in Anamulenge Constituency in Omusati Region is recovering from suspected malnutrition in the Outapi District Hospital.

The constituency councillor while doing home visits around his constituency last Wednesday discovered Fabianus Mulenda, who is suspected of suffering from malnutrition.

New Era was informed another young child died of malnutrition in the same village in 2009.
Wrapped in a big, grey school jersey and a blue shirt underneath, the only visible part of his body was the head because his body was enveloped by the oversized clothes he was wearing.

The boy could apparently not move an inch because he was too weak to walk.
Councillor of Anamulenge Constituency Fillemon Shikwambi said he found the malnourished boy together with another young boy, three puppies and a radio keeping them company, but there was no guardian.

“I went to the nearby cuca shops and got a neighbour to see the situation before I rushed him to hospital. Although the two children were both thin, this one was extremely thin,” said Shikwambi.

According to Shikwambi, upon arrival at the hospital he found Mulenda’s guardian who had allegedly come to visit an expectant fellow housemate.

The guardian denied Mulenda was malnourished, saying the children were fed regularly on a daily basis.
At the time the guardian reportedly said she feeds the children with Morvite porridge daily and gives them epwaka, a traditional beer which she mixes with water. Epwaka is given to children to substitute their daily traditional drink ontaku, which is a drink brewed in Oshiwambo homesteads for daily consumption.

Mulenda has since been admitted to the Outapi District Hospital for treatment.
According to sources, Mulenda ended up with a guardian after his mother gave him up at a wedding in August last year.

Shikwambi said he visited the house again on Friday and has since given them three bags of maize and three tins of fish through the constituency office.

Despite the situation, Shikwambi said he was quite content because they have ploughed part of their field.
Shikwambi said there is a tendency among villagers to not plough fields and instead spend their time at local shebeens.

Shikwambi said he is appealing to the traditional leaders to assist in closing in-house bars saying they have gone out of control and are difficult to control.

He said applications to have in-house bars should be rejected because people tend not to produce food for themselves.

He is also appealing to parents and guardians to put their children’s needs first and to ensure that they are fed daily to avoid similar cases.

The mother of the child could not be reached for comment as her phone went unanswered.
Mulenda’s parents reportedly reside in Oshakati.

Mulenda will be placed under the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare once he is discharged from hospital.

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