By Colleen Barilae – EMTV News, Lae
There is general shortage of nutritionists nationwide, and a lack of resources putting a strain on services provided to patients suffering from malnutrition.
However, with help from UNICEF, Lae’s Angau Hospital is working to tackle the problem using methods that have proved successful with HIV/AIDS patients suffering from malnutrition.
The children’s outpatient area at Lae’s Angau Hospital fills up with patients everyday.
In a month, the clinic records up to 60 cases of severe malnutrition.
Deputy Chief Pediatrician, Dr. Theresia Rongap, says the clinic’s common admissions lie with children between the ages of zero to five.
Angau has a shortage of nutritionists.
It’s a reflection of the general shortage Papua News Guinea’s health system faces.
It is an area that isn’t high on the list of priorities, when compared to maternal and infant mortality.
With help from UNICEF, Angau Hospital is using treatment methods that are tried and tested.
Some patients who go to the clinic come from locations where there are no roads and limited basic services.
The pediatric unit is faced with the challenge of limited supply of therapeutic food, which can only last for a certain period of time.