By Kyaw Thu Win and Aye Min Thu
Mawyawadi Village, Shwezar Village, and Hindu Aid Camp (2) in Maungtaw, Maungtaw Township held supplementary nutrition programmes for mothers and infants under 5 years, and financial support programmes for mothers and infants under 2 years of age.
Dr. Thar Tun Kyaw, Director-General of the Public Health Department and Medical Treatment Department, and Dr. San San Aye, Director-General of Social Welfare Department conferred Ks90,000 to each of the 122 pregnant mothers present.
Dr. Thar Tun Kyaw spoke at the event and said that their health staffs routinely carry out supplementation programmes for mothers and infants in Mawyawadi and Shwezar villages. They carry out routine measurements for height and weight and see if the children are growing in proportion to their age. They mark the children’s arm with different colors to indicate their nutritional intake. A green mark means the child is receiving sufficient nutrition, yellow means the child is receiving only minimal nutrition, and red means the child is lacking proper nutrition and needs immediate support.
Dr. Thar Tun Kyaw said that if mothers received healthcare during pregnancy and followed nutritional guidelines then their babies will grow up healthy. He said that they provide 200,000 units of Vitamin A and oral medicine for ringworm once every six months. They also provide workshops on nutrition in Buthidaung and Maungtaw and provide counseling to parents of children less than 2 years of age concerning their diet.
Dr. San San Aye said these supplementation programs and financial support programmes are done under the social welfare programme. Since the new government took office, the Ministry for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement has been working to ensure every person receives proper social welfare. The overall strategic plan includes eight phases and providing financial support to mothers and infants is part of the first phase to ensure that infants receive proper nutrition for brain development in their first 1,000 days. She said that Chin and Rakhine states, and Naga Self-Administration Zone need these programmes, as their children have very low levels of nutritional support. She said that children have four basic rights as humans which will need to be recognised from an early age so that it carries on into adulthood.
Officials have provided financial support to 1,158 pregnant mothers and 1,026 infants under 2 years of age in Maungtaw District.