A LACK of proper nutritional knowledge and in some cases the lack of money are factors that contribute to the large number of children under five years with severe malnutrition.
Just last year, 250 children under five with severe malnutrition were admitted at divisional hospitals and tragically 25 of them passed away as a result.
This year, the Health Ministry recorded 80 cases of severe malnutrition in children under five with eight deaths recorded.
And with these numbers, the ministry is appealing for more interest to be taken in the wellbeing of children and come to the ministry for assistance on child nutrition.
"When we talk about severe malnutrition, it's like those pictures we see for Africa, exactly those kinds of pictures," CWMH head of Paedeatrics Dr Joseph Kado said.
"These are children with hardly any flesh on them and children with swollen bodies because they haven't had food or enough food or were not given the right kind of food.
"A very small number of them have a small underlying medical condition that prevents them from using the food they are given."
Dr Kado said the ministry found the majority of these families were unaware of proper nutrition plans for their children.
"When we interview the families of the children who do not get admitted, the majority of them are giving them the wrong kinds of food.
"They are not aware of what kinds of food to give them to build up their children and then there's a significant proportion of them that just admit that they can't put food on the table."
He said the ministry worked to educate families on good nutrition for their babies through brochures and educating families on how to wean a child off breastfeeding.
"So one of the messages that we give is that they try to introduce one type of food at a time.
"To start with something starchy, vegetables like carrots one thing at a time so that we can see how the child manages and whether the child develops an unusual response to one."