Health expert highlights child retardation risk
An epidemiological fact finding survey carried out in tsunami
affected coastal districts has indicated a potential risk increase in
retardation in newly born and unborn babies.
Prof. Dr. Aurangzeb Hafi, an expert from Pakistan, has highlighted
the child retardation risk in Sri Lanka after his 15-day fact finding
survey done in the coastal districts of the South and the Ampara
Prof. Hafi was the first Pakistani scientist to have been declared
"The Man of the Year in Interdisciplinary sciences" by the International
He had carried out the survey under the aegis of the MAVSO
International of the United Nations University. It was sponsored by Peak
Freans EBM Ltd. of Pakistan.
Prof. Hafi in an exclusive interview with the Daily News said that
this was because contaminated water was being consumed by pregnant women
and children. The risk exists for children under three years as well, he
He also noted the need for speedy action by the World Health
Organisation and UNICEF to bring the situation under control with immune
enhancing nutritional supplements.
Prof. Hafi said that he would provide the report of his
epidemiological survey to the United Nations University by Thursday
He said he was ready to cooperate with the Government of Sri Lanka
and non-governmental organisations to help the victims.
"MAVSO international has agreed to provide immune enhancing
nutritional supplement to Sri Lanka and Maldives worth Rs. 2 million,"