Gauteng province, a northern province in the country has lost a total of 113 children to malnutrition. These deaths occurred between April 2015 and March 2016.
This startling revelation was disclosed in a statement by DA MP Jack Bloom after he went through a document distributed by the provincial health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu.
The information was based on the annual report presented to the portfolio committee for the 2015/16 financial year on Friday.
As contained in the document, over this time period, about 3040 new cases of malnutrition were identified. The MEC stated that out of 3040 cases, about 1512 children were admitted in different health facilities; while 113 children died as a result of severe acute malnutrition.
Jack Bloom Reacts To The Ugly Development
Reacting to the ugly development, MP Jack Bloom bewailed the loss of the children. He expressed disappointment with the provincial leadership, stating that a big metro like Gauteng has all it takes to make the lives of the people comfortable – including the provision of food and other necessities.
In addition, the opposition MP implored the ANC-led province to see this ugly development as “a wake-up call that more needs to be done to identify people at risk who need assistance.”
Meanwhile, Gauteng MEC Qedani Mahlangu is yet to comment on the matter.
This is not the first time the MEC’s perceived negligence on health matters would be raising public concern. In September, a total of 37 psychiatric patients died in her care.
According to the provincial health department, the patients died after they were recklessly transferred from the Life Healthcare Esidimeni Centre to the care of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Presently, the families of the psychiatric patients are calling for the dismissal of the MEC Qedani Mahlangu. They want her fired or see her fall on her own sword for under-reporting the number of dead patients.
This comes after a fresh investigation found there were 60 deaths and not 37 as earlier claimed by the Provincial health department.
Secondly for neglecting the patients at a time they needed her care most.