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Malnutrition cases spread out over Argentina - 19 November, 2002

Over 50 children died of diseases related to malnutrition during the first nine months of the year

According with the last official estimations, over 50 children died of diseases related to malnutrition during the first nine months of the year. The most of them has been reported from the northern provinces of Tucuman and Misiones, in the border with Brazil and Paraguay.

The Minister of Public Health of Misiones, Telmo Albrecht, confirmed Monday, that 49 children died of malnutrition in his Province and blamed on the National Government on the cut of social programmes. Albrecht also remarked that milk supplying to Provincial Hospitals had been cut out during former President De la Rua's administration. By that time the National Government had implemented a "deficit zero" programme urged by the IMF not to default in the public debt.

With this statement, Minister Albrecht offered his excuses for the death of two children during the last weekend in the cities of Posadas, province Capital City, and El Dorado. This time, the innocent victims were Marcos Gomez, two years old, and another child of only one year.

As news on malnutrition were covered by the national and international media, more cases are coming out to light, showing how dramatic is the scenario nowadays. Therefore, the Government of Tucuman admitted over 800 children are in serious risk of dying for the same reasons.

Other Provinces like Santiago del Estero, Jujuy, Chaco and Catamarca face a similar crisis. Overcrowded hospitals, lack of supplies and delay in the provision of food caused by an exasperating inefficacy of local authorities to mitigate the emergency. For instance, a 15 years girl whose weight comes up to 10 kilos, still awaits for being assisted in a hospital near Resistencia, the Capital City of Chaco Province and one of the most scourged areas of the country.

Corruption in the political class, inequality in the distribution of income, blind obedience to the neo-liberal creed and lack of controls on financial operations are some of the reasons that explain why a rich country like Argentina sees how its sons starve.

Hernan Etchaleco
PRAVDA.Ru
Argentina

Photo (El Territorio, Posadas): Grandmother with grandson Luis. His 2 years old brother, Marcos weighted only 6 kilos when died on Saturday.

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