» What Is Malutrition?
What Is Malutrition?
Malnutrition happens very often in Cambodia, especially in the rural area. Recently, this problem seems to be increased due to the fact that most women leave their babies with their grandparents to work in the city. Those babies cannot get breastfeeding and enough nutrition because their parents cannot afford milk powder, and replace with the water from the porridge. In order to understand well, Chhour Y Seng has interviewed Dr.Un Vuthy a specialist doctor of Pediatric advised related to malnutrition, he serves as a pediatric doctor for National Pediatric Hospital and Chhour Y Seng Clinic.

What is called malnutrition?
Nutrition is food that is given to children for their standardized growing and modified according to their growth steps. Malnutrition is defined as a condition of inefficient nutrition in all kinds of forms such as not getting enough food or certain diseases which prevent digestive absorption and it affects children's health.
What cause malnutrition?
Frequent causes of malnutrition refer to 3 main factors which are not genetic problem:
  • First: economic problem
  • Second: mothers moving away from their babies
  • Third: children diseases
However, babies of families with high income also face malnutrition because they don't feed their babies right, and even though plenty of foods are provided, they don't get enough nutrition.
What are the symptoms of malnutrition?
Malnutrition provides symptoms indicating delayed growth:
First step: No weight gain by age or weight loss, thin, withered and small body, wrinkle skin, old look than their age, and hair fall.  
Second step:
Edema general makes their parents confuse that the babies recover from their disease and start growing up as normal. Besides, psychological problems could occur, such as:
  1. From an active baby to a passive one
  2. From a talkative and sensitive bay to a silent one without any attraction to others
Moreover, for bigger children, parents will notice their changes in hair and skin with wound and dark spots. More than this, other diseases could be appeared such as anemia, diarrhea and lung disease.
Children in what condition face the risk of malnutrition?
Malnutrition mostly occurs to children under 2 years old, but the children under 6 months face the highest risk of this problem if they don't get right feeding: breast feeding or milk powder feeding.
What are the consequences of malnutrition?
If children with malnutrition don't get right treatment, this problem will lead them to death, affect their brain development, slow their intelligence, and affect their body development such as short or stunted.
How is malnutrition treated?
Treatment of malnutrition is to give enough food to children including meat, food providing calorie, all kind of vitamins for their growing process. Furthermore, it is very important to educate parents and care-givers of how to feed their children right. More than that, Ministry of Health introduces only breastfeeding for babies under 6 months old to all mothers. However, if malnutrition is caused by other diseases, first step of treatment is to diagnose and cure the causing diseases. Before ending, Dr. Sivlaing leaves a message to all parents that malnutrition could happen to every child, and it is harmful to their lives and intelligence. Therefore, all parents should give the right food to your children and if there is any doubt, seek for advices from nutritionist in child feeding.