Every year the Government of Belize, under the Ministry of Health, releases an Annual Health Report in which it details how healthy Belize as a country has been for the past year. Even though the report takes a look at the countys entire health system one of the major problems that sticks out is that of malnutrition. Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez has studied the 2010/2011 report in detail and today when we spoke to him he told us more about the malnutrition problem that the country is facing.

Screen_shot_2012-01-30_at_7.56.28_PMMarco Tulio Mendez, Pediatrician

“A total 276 children with nutritional problems were seeing at the clinic, those with low weight of age showered an increase of 111 and 185% from the previous year that it was 131%, of course it is alarming and it is stated very clear there and what does this mean, it basically means that our children have problems being fed and what would be the causes of that that the family doesn’t have the resources, that they are not able to get a job, that they are not able to get an income, which of course that is what is being said everywhere that our economy is shattered, it is in real bad situation, and this is reflecting it and the statistics of our health as individuals, children, everybody up here in the north is being reflected with malnutrition.”

Dr. Mendez also pointed out another serious problem. That is the increase of Infant Mortality rate.

Marco Tulio Mendez, Pediatrician

“Lets say if we take into account how well care our children have been done through the pasts years, with the previous government the infant mortality was at 12 almost the lowest that we have had in our entire country, the lowest in statistics, but in 2009 it went up to 23.5 from 12 to 23, now this last report that they gave is at 16.8 it is still higher than the one with 12 that the previous government had, so that reflects on how well the children were being taken care the immunization , the prevention that was being provided to them and health as a whole in the entire country.”

These are clearly issues that are affecting the country in more ways than one. Issues, which says Mendez, need to be resolved in order to move the country forward.

Marco Tulio Mendez, Pediatrician

“Seeing that this statistics was here in the northern region in Orange Walk, one of my main targets would be to relief the Orange Walk Regional Hospital and set up a poly-clinic within the Louisiana area so that that poly clinic which will have the basic elements in technology for example it will have a small lab., it would be providing also a nurse to give that service to the doctors, give that service at least until twenty four hours, so by having them being taken care with the primary health care we will reliving the Northern Regional Hospital and all of that quantity that we have in the Orange Walk East won’t be able to go to the Northern Regional Hospital because they will be taken care in that area.”

According to the report while in 2009 there were 292 reported dengue cases, in 2010 there were 2,178. We will have more on the report in another newscast.