Another two babies died of malnutrition in the Argentine northern province of Salta, totalling seven so far this year. They all belong to indigenous colonies in this case from the Wichi community living under subsistence conditions in non fertile areas of the province.
One of the babies that this month would have been one year old died in a government hospital and was diagnosed “extreme dehydration as a consequence of gastroenteritis”.
The other case involves a two year old girl from the Los Baldes colony which apparently presented similar symptoms but no final diagnosis has been disclosed.
The two deaths which bring this year’s total to seven were confirmed by Dr. Enrique Heredia, Salta province government Social Medicine Director.
“We don’t want to brush the dead under the carpet: we now have seven indigenous babies dead in the last fifteen days because of malnutrition”, admitted Heredia.
At the funeral the aunt of the one year old baby Adriana said that “my nephew was healthy and rosy, but then he started loosing weight and was with diarrhoea so my sister took him to hospital. He was hydrated with serum and discharged on the same day”.
“Three hours later he was dead” said Marcos, the father of the child. On Saturday “we were going to celebrate his birthday with a treat of chocolate and party for which the family had been saving for months”.
Meantime in the Tartagal hospital in one of the poorest areas of Salta, six babies are being treated for diarrhoea and vomiting and another dozen remain under observation.
Heredia said that sanitary staff in ten different teams had already arrived to Tartagal and would begin checking the aborigine population.