Eastern Cape MEC for Health, Sindiswa Gomba has sounded a warning to communities across the province that despite infections being on a downward trajectory, the dangers of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were far from over. With the provincial government now focused on anti-poverty and food security support programmes for indigent communities and households. Gomba said: the department has Integrated Nutrition Programme (INS) targeting in and out patients in the Eastern Cape.
‘’Over the years our province struggled to contain malnutrition among our children under the age of 5 years, resulting in many dying from malnutrition’’, said Gomba. “Community participation and capacity building is central to prevention”, said Gomba. ‘’Malnutrition requires a stakeholder collaboration approach in order to overcome malnutrition’’. She said the department is focusing on strategic interventions and close monitoring of districts in particular O.R Tambo, which previously has been a hotspot hence the District Development Model (DDM) Pilot was a critical instrument for the province.
She also emphasised a dire need for intervention at every level from community to health facilities, address the issues contributing to malnutrition deaths in the province.
She said at the heart of this issue was the HIV epidemic and the huge numbers of unplanned pregnancies, massive numbers of low birth weight infants.