50 percent of children in Anjouan malnourished

Moroni- Comoros (PANA) -- Fifty percent of children in Anjouan Island (part of the Comoro Islands) suffer from malnutrition while the health conditions of children under five years of age and women have seriously deteriorated in the past few years, the island's director of health, Dr Mahamoud Said revealed Monday.
"Our priority today is children's immunisation and basic nutrition," he told PANA, adding that they intend to improve the health system management and sharpen the skills of technical staff as 50 percent of them were at the verge of retirement.
He lamented the lack of specialised practitioners in local hospitals, and said the problem could be solved through dialogue and agreements with officials from other islands of the archipelago.
But His frequent visits in Moroni to discuss health matters have been despised in Mutsamudu, capital of Anjouan Island, by sceptics who believe the move aims bringing the secessionist island back under the control of the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoro Islands.
"Since Anjouan Island is not recognised as a state, one has to go through the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros Islands to have access to support from development partners.
For me, it is a humanitarian issue," Mahamoud says.
"We are talking about the health of Anjouan people who cannot wait for the constitution to be voted as diseases do not wait," he adds.
According to Mahamoud, "today, Anjouan hospitals are simply buildings without human resources and necessary technical means".
Even Domoni, where the technical staff is "acceptable" for four years, does not have a single surgeon which compels several women to come from Mrémani to Mutsamudu to undergo routine caesarean operation.
"This is why, we suggested that appointed specialists in Moroni or Moheli could make professional trips to Anjouan and share with us their experience", Mahamoud explained.
"Any way, if we do not give ourselves the means to resolve small issues, several patients will continue to drown while trying to stowaway into Mayotte to seek medical treatment," he warned.

19 november 2001 20:55:00

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