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Friday, 17 August 2018


Death from starvation: Who is to blame and what to do

2013-03-29 13:17

Death from starvation: Who is to blame and what to do. 29214.jpeg

A few days ago, a one-year-old child died from starvation in the Batumi hospital. Doctors fought for the life of Gogita Abashidze for three days, but in vain. Meanwhile, the UNICEF publishes statistics of child mortality in Georgia. Every year, 800 infants are dying in the country, half of them - from diseases caused by malnutrition.


For several days, Georgian public is discussing information from Batumi. On March 23, one-year-old Gogita Abashidze died in the center of the protection of health of mothers and children. Three days before the child was taken to hospital in a state of shock, caused by starvation. Despite the best efforts the doctors have failed to save him.

"At birth, the weight of the child was 4 kilos and 200 grams. A year later, the child's weight was the same, while he was to weigh 12 kilos," doctor Archil Shervashidze told the journalists. "Due to the underweight body and low immunity the child developed pneumonia, the lack of blood, lack of protein, and the infection completely destroyed his small body," said the doctor.

Abashidze family of five persons is in an extremely difficult financial situation. However, despite repeated attempts, they have failed to get status of socially vulnerable persons.

Information about the tragic death of the one-year-old children has literally blown social networks in Georgia. "In a country where the Prime Minister officially is billionaire, a child dies of starvation," "The former government also took care about the people that well," "I suppose, their children are well fed!" the users wrote in the social networks.

The UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) publishes disappointing statistics. Over the past ten years in Georgia, 4300 newborns have died from the diseases caused by malnutrition of pregnant mothers or children. According to the same organization, 77 thousand children in Georgia today are living below the poverty line, but it is unlikely that all of them will get the status of the socially vulnerable persons.

Georgian Health Minister David Sergienko told reporters that the incident was under investigation. "The investigation involves both the law enforcement officials and specialists of our agency," Sergienko said. "The state does not absolve itself of responsibility. Perhaps the child has died not from hunger, but from wrong feeding. I urge everyone not to jump to conclusions," Sergienko stated.

Assumption about wrong feeding is interesting. Gogita Abashidze was the third child in the family. It's hard to assume that parents of three children had a lack of experience of feeding. And if they fed improperly, that was not their fault.

"I believe this is primarily the result of negligence on the part of local government," political expert Nika Chitadze said in an interview with GeorgiaTimes. "At the same time, the family was not given the status of socially vulnerable persons. We must register these citizens again. Recently, in Georgia there is a tendency of improvement of the socio-economic status, but many people are still in a difficult situation. We should also improve the health care system. The state should pay more attention to the social sector and carry out clear policy. Despite all the statements on the people-oriented budget, social policy in Georgia has always stalled," Chitadze said.

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