LILONGWE: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday donated pediatric severe acute malnutrition (PEDSAM) kits to the Malawian government in response to President Lazarus Chakwera’s recent appeal for support amid worsening food insecurity in the country, reported Xinhua.

Neema Rusibamayila Kimambo, WHO country representative to Malawi, said that in line with the president’s request, the WHO has observed an increase in cases of severe acute malnutrition in children since January, prompting the donation.

“When food security is affected in a country, it will quickly manifest in children, especially those under five. This is something we foresaw not only for this year but also last year with Cyclone Freddy, the floods, and the cholera outbreak,“ she said.

The WHO will continue collaborating with other partners and the Malawian government to support the training of health workers in nutrition rehabilitation, particularly in the country’s eight southern districts where the risk is high, she added.

The PEDSAM kits are designed to provide essential supplies necessary for the effective treatment and care of children suffering from malnutrition, as well as malaria.

Malawian Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda described the donation as “timely and very useful for Malawi,“ where the infant mortality rate remains a concern.

The minister said that cases of severe malnutrition and malaria in children in Malawi contribute to the high infant mortality rates, with malnutrition alone accounting for at least 30 per cent of deaths.-Bernama