Subject: Malnutrition Kills Ex-Timor Refugee

01/12/09 03:32

Malnutrition Kills Ex-Timor Refugee

Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (NTT), (ANTARA News) - A child of an ex-East Timor family, Monica Monteiro (6), died on Friday at Oebelo village, Central Kupang subdistict, Kupang district, East Nusa Tenggara province (NTT) after suffering from malnutrition for almost three years.

"We tried to cure her at home for almost three years. We could not afford to take her to the healthcare center because we had no money," Agustino Monteiro, Monica`s father, said after the burial on Sunday.

Monica Monteiro is the sixth child of ex-East Timor refugee families who died of malnutrition at Oebelo village since last year.

Agustino Monteiro is one of the ex-East Timor refugees who are now living at the village with poor economic conditions.

Residents of the village are also suffering from diarrhea due to bad sanitation. Three residents have been killed and over 200 others are still suffering from the diarrhea outbreak.

The death of Monica is ironical because the Ministry of Health, through the local health service, has since the past three years launched a malnutrition handling program in the district.

The ministry has allocated billions of rupiah for the handling of malnutrition problems, such as the procurement of nutritional food and medical care for malnourished victims at hospitals.(*)

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