Two cases of malnutrition, where children have lost vision, in less than 3 weeks have alarmed doctors and non-profits working in urban slums. An acute vitamin A deficiency, which is a result of malnutrition, led to these four-year-olds going blind.
“As a part of the immunisation programme, the civic body gives vitamin A doses to children below five years every six months. Despite that, it is sad that children are going blind because of vitamin A deficiency,” said Dr R Potdar, trustee of Centre for Study of Social Change, a non-profit working in Bandra slums.
Dr Potdar said that the fact that children are reaching a stage where they are losing vision is shocking.
“This means, that the child was not cared for by the parents and doctors who must have treated him or her for other ailments,” said Dr Potdar.
Doctors said that such children tend to have repeated upper respiratory infections, diarrhoea, tuberculosis and pneumonia because of lowered immunity.
“The problem is that parents don’t see malnutrition as an emergency,” said Dr Vasundhara Joshi, executive director, SNEHA is a non-profit working for women and child health in urban areas.