BANKE, JULY 13: The rate of malnutrition in Lumbini Province has increased this year, compared to last year. The rate of malnutrition which was 2.8 percent in 2077/78 increased by 0.6 percent in 2078/79.
In Lumbini, the malnutrition rate has risen from 2.8 to 3.4 percent over two years. The statistics of malnutrition rate is being extracted from the number of people coming to the health facilities in 12 districts of the province. In 2076/77, the malnutrition rate was 2.9 percent in the province. According to the statistics, the malnutrition rate is highest in Rukum East. According to the Health Directorate, 6.4 percent of children are malnourished here. In Rukum East, 1.3 percent of children were malnourished in both 2076/77 and 2077/78.
Malnutrition is 2.1 percent in Bardiya, 1.2 percent in Kapilvastu, 1.5 percent in Banke, 1.2 percent in Nawalparasi West and 0.5 percent in Dang. According to the Health Directorate, the malnutrition rate is 1.9 percent in Gulmi, 2.8 percent in Pyuthan, 5.1 percent in Palpa, 3.9 percent in Rolpa and 5.7 percent in Arghakhanchi. Tuk Prasad Pokharel, Statistics Officer and Information Officer at the Health Directorate, Butwal, said that the percentage of malnutrition has increased this year due to the increase in the number of children coming for weighing in the current fiscal year.
According to him, the rate of malnutrition has increased due to the increase in the number of people coming to weigh during the ongoing campaign against malnutrition in the district. “The statistics are based on the number of people who come to the health facilities to weigh themselves. The data we receive is from both the public and private health sectors. Still, the remote settlements, dalits and janajatis of the province have not come to the health facilities. Lately, with the rise in consciousness, people are coming to measure their weight,” said Information Officer Pokharel, confirming that there are statistics of children below the age of two from birth.
There are currently 1,111 health facilities in Lumbini.
Decreasing malnutrition in Banke
While malnutrition is on the rise in other districts of Lumbini, it is declining in Banke. Malnutrition in Banke has been declining by 3.3 percent in the last three fiscal years. In the fiscal year 2076/77, the malnutrition rate in Banke is 4.8 percent. From that, it had decreased to 4.3 percent in the fiscal year 2077/78, while the rate of malnutrition dropped to 1.5 percent by mid-June of the current fiscal year. Health workers say that various public awareness programs have also made an impact on it.