Malnutrition can affect everybody. The most vulnerable people to the condition of malnutrition are children. Many experience malnutrition as early as birth because pregnant mothers can often only afford to eat junk food. This leads the mother and the unborn child to develop slowly.
People in working class communities are not working and are not even getting any social grant. Many people are grabbing anything for their stomach. Some people do receive the grants and depend on them but this support from the government is not enough at all.
Our government have many shares in companies of mines and farms, and they can give the poor from that money, but they are fighting among themselves. The corruption is not about money only but also with food. They give food parcels many days after harvesting when the food is no more in good standing and is not fresh anymore.
During elections the political parties promise communities lots of things and give out food parcels but after the vote they are gone. The electricity units drop because of increased prices and food price are also very high to the point that working class communities can’t afford it. This situation has led to many deaths of children in our communities.
Community Healthcare Workers (CHWs) are trying very hard to educate their community about the importance of a balanced diet. But there’s often no water for some days, so how can the community adhere to their treatment when there’s no food, water, or electricity. There is also a shortage of Vitamin A and other nutritional supplements in clinics and this happen most time and in months.
Some communities have no feeding schemes for children to get food after school from. Other communities that do have these scheme depend on them for food but it only provides food for five days a week. What about weekends?
Malnutrition statistics in South Africa is currently unknown but we know that is definitely affects Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS patients and contributes to death because the immune system is very weak due to malnutrition.
The government needs to help with seeds, garden tools and do follow-ups to check the progress in communities. It should also add more money for the social grants for all.
This article was produced during a writing session that took place during the study group programme session that focused on malnutrition Adonis a CHW based in Ekangala, Tshwane.
This article was submitted on 11 June 2022. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.