Over dozen babies die of malnutrition at Ingquza Hill

Eastern Cape Social Development MEC Dr Pumza Dyantyi heard that the babies died over a period of five months when she visited the area earlier this week.

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CAPE TOWN - More than a dozen babies have died due to malnutrition at Ingquza Hill.

Eastern Cape Social Development MEC Dr Pumza Dyantyi heard that the babies died over a period of five months when she visited the area earlier this week.

Dyantyi was in Kwa-Gcuda village in Lusikisiki as part of a short-term intervention of the provincial anti-poverty strategy.

The provincial MEC was accompanied by various government officials and distributed food parcels in the area.

Provincial health department spokesperson Lwandile Sicwetsha said: “Pregnant women and new mothers, they use a traditional herb as a replacement for breastfeeding and they are feeding this to the infant as well, which we are linking to the infant mortality which we are picking up in those regions.”

Sicwetsha says the department has requested a report to investigate the incidents.

“We have had dialogue with the traditional health practitioners, we want them to regulate who dispenses what and to who, because we don’t want them to dispense this to pregnant women.