Contradicting the UNICEF report on malnutrition among the children in Sri Lanka, Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said according to latest data, nutrition level of the Sri Lankan children has been improving over the last two decades.
He told Parliament that latest data issued by the Ministry of Health clearly stated that there was a clear progress with regard to the malnutrition among children where malnutrition which was 27.4 percent in 2009 has reduced to 12.2 percent in 2021.
He said the UNICEF report was not a complete report and could not be accepted as it had used data of only a few countries and in different years.
Speaking during the adjournment debate on UNICEF report, he said according Family Health Bureau and Health Ministry, malnutrition among children below five years in 2009 was 27.4 percent, 23.7 percent in 2010, 19.8 percent in 2011 and 15.6 percent in 2015.
“There is a gradual decrease in malnutrition level among children over the last two decades. It has reduced to 12.2 percent in 2021,” he said.
However, he said there is a possible risk of children’s nutrition level being reduced due to the economic situation in the country at present.
He said several program have been already implemented together with World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to prevent such a situation.