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County hit by severe children malnutrition

f1 By Philip Tianda and Mary Mwangi
Yiamat Oloontasati, a mother of 8 children in Kilonito village, Kajiado West carried her 10-year-old daughter in her arms as she walked out of her Manyatta to address Journalists. Her husband, Koikai Olootontasati walked close to her, holding their sick child with the hope that one day visitors in their rural village would be touched to fund for the medication of their daughter their second Born Megeya Oloontasat, was born healthy but due to the hardships and poverty that the family undergoes, the child lost weight rapidly over the months and that has lead to serious weaknesses in her body. Her mother said the time her daughter was 5 years old she was only 4.5 kilogrammes, 10 Kilogrammes less than what is considered normal for her age.
The young girl who is also stunted and anemic is just one out of thousands of children in the County, especially with the residents who still dwell on cultural beliefs on feeding their young ones.   Olodo Enterit of Kilonito location, is a far-flung village where people live a “hard life”, in the mountainous area of 46 Kajiado West Sub-County about 150 kilometers from Kajiado town. Lack of health amenities in this area, and residents still stuck on cultural beliefs may be the cause of many children’s malnourishment. However, according to Oloontasati, poverty is the major reason behind diseases such as Kwashiorkor and Pneumonia. “Our main food is milk, meat and ugali sometimes during drought, we go without food and children survive on ‘olerai” (boiled roots from trees). After the 2007 severe drought is when I realized that the child couldn’t walk by herself and since all the animals died then, I was left with nothing to take her to hospital with,” he said.
“I appeal to all leaders and well-wishers to support my daughter’s treatment, I would appreciate even if I got a wheel chair,” the old man pleaded.  Government records in the nearby Mile 46, Health Centre which is 85 kilometers away show that at least 49 out of 500 children are either sick or recovering from nutrition related diseases.

Oloolua Resort, where Kajiado’s comfy lies

f2By  Joyce Mong’are
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