Infant in C Java dies of malnourishment

Jepara, C Java (ANTARA News) - A two-year-old infant named Sherilla Kayla, daughter of a couple in Tahunan village, Jepara district, Central Java, died of malnourishment on Sunday.

The ill-fated baby`s father, Rofiq, 23, said here Monday that his daughter had been hospitalized at Kartini general hospital for four days until her death.

Before her death, Kayla`s body weight kept decreasing from 8.5 kilograms to 7.5 kilograms. A normal infant of her age had a body weight of 11 kilograms, he said.

According to the hospital`s doctor, Kayla suffered from serious malnourishment, diarrhea, as well as lung and heart problems, he said.

Rofiq said his daughter had suffered from malnourishment and lung problem since she was eight months old.

"Unfortunately, my daughter did not receive special treatment such food supplements as instant milk and biscuits from a local health center," he said.

Undernourishment cases remain serious in Indonesia. According to World Vision Indonesia, a non-governmental organization which plays an active role in fighting malnutrition, more than five million Indonesian children are malnourished.

It said malnutrition was like the "iceberg phenomenon" in which the number of minor, moderate, and serious malnourished children is often far higher than those seen on television.

Extreme poverty has made millions of less fortunate Indonesians like Ruslia faced serious difficulties in obtaining proper medical treatment.(*)