Kwashiorkar, Science


This disease was first recognised in  1935,  in African children and it  is named from two words of an African dialect, meaning first and second, i.e.  sickness that strikes the first child, when he is soon displaced at his mother's breast by  the second born. Why do  babies  lose weight during weaning? On weaning, a child requires more than twice as much protein  in relation to body weight as do adults. In spite of the nutritional status of the mothers, breast milk provides enough nutrition in quality and quantity for babies up to 6 months, and it IS free of infection. For proper growth, children, after six months, require supplementary food which  is not available due to some of the following reasons:  

1 Increased financial burden, if  the next child is born. 

2 Because of  ignorance, the best food is usually given to men who are supposed to be bread winners; children and women eat whatever is left. 

3 Babies prefer breast milk, they are fussy about taste, and refuse new  items included in the diet. 

4 As most Indians can afford only vegetarian diet, it, therefore, becomes very difficult to . provide sufficient proteins to a child, unless the food is consumed in  large quantities. 

Due to meagre energy food and protein  intake, the child gradually loses appetite and often develops weaning diarrhoea.  It  is generally believed that diarrhoea is due to teething. This is incorrect. In fact, diarrhoea during teething is due to infection. Because of  sensation in the gums, babies like to chew hard  things and also pick up whatever is  lying on  the floor. Thus, they get infection from dirt or from chewing unwashed vegetables, fruits, etc. This, often, misleads the mother, who further restricts  the diet mainly to carbohydrate gruels. Thus, the child is deprived of  the much needed protein diet.  


Posted Date: 9/28/2012 7:44:13 AM | Location : United States

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