Paediatricians discuss ways to combat malnutrition

By Jamil Khan

PAEDIATRICS at Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition conference in Dubai on Sunday stressed the need of creating awareness among parents, doctors and nurses about the nutritional assessment and management to avoid the risk of malnutrition in children.

Eminent speakers from different parts of the world attended the day-long conference.

Paediatrics shared their expertise and discussed the need of disease specific nutrition among children facing malnutrition, especially in the developing countries.

Dr PB Sullivan from Oxford University, England, while talking to The Gulf Today said that paediatrics and parents should be aware about the availability of new facilities to feed the sick children for avoiding malnutrition.

He discussed the nutritional management of sick children, especially those with neurological disabilities. “Such children should be provided food supplement with necessary nutritional support through gastrostomy (a surgical opening in the stomach) to follow the disease specific nutrition,” he said.

Sullivan said that paediatrics should be trained to use gastrostomy tube for feeding and the efficacy of neurotrophic nutritional supplements in mitigating the effects of prenatal brain damage.

“There are many societies of professionals in America and other parts of the world who could provide training to paediatrics in this regard,” he said.

Jonathan Wogel, Managing Director of Nutricia Middle East-Africa, said that they were pleased to host the important meeting in Dubai as many top medical experts in the field of paediatric nutrition shared their research, highlighting the importance of appropriate medical nutrition for the growth and development of children.

He added that the studies of experts will increase understanding about many disorders through their basic and clinical research programmes.

Other paediatricians, including Prof. Oliver Goulet from France, Dr Charlotte Brun from Norway, Dr Jessie Hulst from Netherlands, Dr Rosan Meyer and Luise Marino both from UK presented their papers covering aspects of child health, especially nutritional considerations.

The speakers highlighted the illnesses caused my malnutrition such as anorexia nervosa, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, prematurity, cardiac disease, cancer, liver and kidney infections, short bowel syndrome, muscle and metabolic diseases.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) and many other countries have expressed deep concern over malnutrition in the children of developing countries arising from diseases, hunger, lack of healthcare and drinking water, conflicts and poverty.

More than 10 million children die each year in the developing world, the vast majority from the causes which are preventable through a combination of nutrition and treatment.

One out of every four children under five years or 146 million children in the developing world are underweight for his or her age, and are at the increased risk of an early death.

There is a needed to ensure that health care and other public services reach the sick and poor.

 -Published in The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Feb 23, 2009

~ by jamilkhan on February 23, 2009.

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