Central Region operation Smile Coordinator, Aida Sitima told Zodiak online Thursday that access to surgical care including cleft surgery is crucial in a child's nutritional status.
She made the remarks Thursday in Dowa when her organisation conducted nutrition assessment of children and COVID 19 awareness.
Sitima said, children aged below 5 and born with cleft lip and cleft palate are even more likely to suffer from malnutrition due to difficulties in feeding.
"Children aged below 5 who are born with cleft lip and cleft palate are even more likely to suffer from malnutrition due to difficulties in feeding," Sitima said.
Eliza Banda, a mother whose child has cleft lip said her child usually falls sick as a result of difficulties in feeding.
"My child usually falls sick after every three weeks mainly due to difficulties in feeding," Banda said.
Among 9 cleft lip children who were assessed nutritionally in Dowa on Thursday 8 were normal and 1 was moderately malnourished.