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Montevideo, November 14th 2018 - 21:47 UTC

Argentine aborigine children die of malnutrition and poor sanitary conditions

Sunday, February 6th 2011 - 08:16 UTC
Full article 145 comments
Salta province governor Jose Manuel Urtubey Salta province governor Jose Manuel Urtubey

An Argentine incumbent governor from the northern province of Salta admitted in a television interview that at least five children died of malnutrition last year and so far this year another case has been registered. Cases involve mostly the indigenous population.

“Child malnutrition is a latent dramatic situation in the province of Salta” said Governor Jose Manuel Urtubey, although he explained conditions had improved compared to three years ago when “over thirty children died of hunger or malnutrition annually”.

The latest claims of children’s deaths were revealed by a non government organization, NGO, and rapidly hit the press headlines with the support from medical staff and relatives. They included the case of an 18 month toddler and a three year girl whose deaths were diagnosed as ‘infections’, however a third case involving another 18 month toddler revealed the truth: “sceptic shock caused by malnutrition”.

The Salta press and later the Buenos Aires media reported testimonies from the father of the dead toddler who crudely said that “when I returned from the woods my children were asking for food but I had nothing to give them. There are some days when we manage to have a meal and days when we don’t. When Leandro died, on that day we had had nothing to eat”.

Following the uproar and that of the three year old girl who was repeatedly sent back from hospital on five occasions Salta sanitary authorities reacted and according to some parents “four children in serious malnutrition condition were accepted in hospital and taken care by a nutritionist and nurses”.

Salta to the north of Argentina and next to Bolivia has a 1.2 million population with a significant number of indigenous communities much exposed to mal-nutrition, diseases and abandonment. Tourism and agriculture are Salta’s main industries and per capita income is half the national average.

“We have control over 100.000 children in those communities, but the latest situation indicates that our efforts are insufficient and there must be more vulnerable population which has no access to aid or support mechanisms”, admitted Urtubey.

The situation becomes worse in summer months when schools shut down and children are deprived of at least a hot meal a day provided by the kitchen school. This added to the increase in food prices plus the fact that kitchen schools in indigenous communities are not granted more than the equivalent of 250 US dollars per month. The summer heat and unreliable water sources have turned child diarrhoea and vomits endemic.
 

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

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  • falklandlad

    Malnutrition - this is a shocking revelation in the 21st Century. Argentina needs to start looking after its own at home, and provide for and protect their aboriginal lands and the people who are more entitled to those lands than the implanted populations from recent times. CFK could easily donate her annual salary to avert the long-standing suffering of those people - “her people” - and shed some of the wardrobe expenses to a humankind cause.

    Feb 06th, 2011 - 01:28 pm 0
  • Beef

    I thought Argentina was a land of prosperity where such things did not happen. After all we are constantly told how Argentina is a food producers paradise.

    According to many Argie posters the UK is a basket case destined to a future of poverty and hardship. Well at least we do not turn people away from our hospitals and we provide a level of welfare to catch those who fall.

    Argentina needs to deal with it's domestic problems as a priority (like any nation should {including the UK}). A first step would be to allocate more time at the highest level and stop the ineffective symbolic guesturing over the Falkland Islands.

    Feb 06th, 2011 - 02:43 pm 0
  • malen

    argentina population is not implanted. more than 20 indiginuos lived here when in 1500 arrived the spanish people. They killed some of them, not all(our territorie is 1.600.000km2 and they lived in very inhospited places), they came here for the silver (thats we are call argentina, silver in latin language) and they need them to send them to the mines. And they came here without wifes so they mix from the very beginning, in what was called mestizo (mix of european with indiginuos). There were mulatos, criollos, etc. Learn more reading about argentina.gov.ar population. Immigration came in 1880, from europe because of secon world war, they continue mixing with the people that was already living here, they didnt kill anybody and they settled more in Buenos Aires...so we are mixed people since 1500. What about you???? Arent you having inbred problems since for more than a century you are only 2000 and and watch all british??? arent you having any problems in your population thar you are worrying about ours??Watch www.mhsg.co.fk and www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bsc/jbiog/2005/00000032/00000004/art00009 interesting

    Feb 06th, 2011 - 03:52 pm 0
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